Airbus European Robotic Arm International Space Station
ESA’s European Robotic Arm (ERA) has been loaded onto the Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) by Airbus space engineers and it’s now ready for its flight to the International Space Station (ISS). It will take one-week to reach the ISS, where it will service the Russian segment of the space station. Measuring 11.3 meters long, the symmetrical, two-handed intelligent robot arm can ‘walk’ around the exterior of the ISS, hand-over-hand from one fixed base-point to another. Read more for two videos and additional information.



Astronauts and cosmonauts will be able to control the European Robotic Arm in real-time or set a program from inside or outside of the ISS. Tasks include moving payloads, inspecting the space station with its infrared cameras and to support operations outside the station. The robot’s tip provides electrical power, a data bus, video line and a rotating drive machine. Connect a tool to the tip to equip it for one of the many tasks that can performed automatically or semi-automatically. Due to the zero-gravity conditions in space, the robotic arm can move very large objects from 3,000 kg routinely up to 8,000 kg.

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The long awaited launch of the European Robotic Arm to the International Space Station marks a huge contribution of the Netherlands to the continued operation of the ISS, which was enabled by the loyal support of the Netherlands Space Office and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. In addition, it celebrates the effort, commitment and determination of the many space professionals involved throughout the years,” said Rob Postma, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands.

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