NASA has announced
that a 5 hour 28 minute space walk by two ISS astronauts has been
completed and the International Space
Station now has a new, external robot arm. The
double-jointed manipulator arm is known as ROKVISS
Verification on ISS) and is part of a German commercial experiment.
The device can operate in both an autonomous mode and in a telepresence
mode. The primary purpose of the arm is to test the long-term
reliability of new, lightweight robotics components in space. A Sci-Tech
article has more info on the new arm and also mentions that the
astronauts discoverd a mysterious, white, honeycomb-like substance
growing on the outside of the space station during their spacewalk
(yikes!). More info about
the ROKVISS arm itself can be found in a 12
page concept overview document (PDF format).
Didn't some honeybees die in an orbital experiment some years back?
Maybe they sent out a distress signal...
But that's impossible. Space is a vacuum. How can something grow in a
vacuum? Can it be a process of accretion of particles of dust? But then
what will bind the dust particles together? Space-glue? Velcro(tm)-
dust? This little news item may be something that balloons up really
big over time. By the way, if the space-faring robot needs an
artificial mind, here is an AI 4 U, robot.
To Chris Jones writing immediately above, I must explain that
Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 (MSIE 5). There have been reports that
the AI does not work with MSIE 6 -- which you perhaps are using. But I
do not expect any problems to remain after you close down the original
session in which the AI may not have worked. BTW, is anybody able to
incompatible with MSIE levels above 5? TIA and sorry if there were any
It also doesn't work with any version of Mozilla, Firefox, or any other
bowser that I've got on my Linux box. I suspect it's not actually
Grey goo, Red goo, now White goo! I figure it's just that there's
some kind of magnetic honeycomb metallic panel inside the space station
that's attracting space dust to the outside. But who knows. Didn't
the space station have to be disinfected before because of strange
mold growing? (ie: green goo?) Whatever you do, don't eat the