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The European Robotic Arm: A High-performance Mechanism Finally on Its Way to SpaceThis paper describes the design and qualification of the European Robotic Arm (ERA), which is planned to be launched by the end of 2015. After years of changes, a shift of launcher and new loads, launch preparation is underway. The European Robotic Arm ERA has been designed and manufactured by Dutch Space and its subcontractors such as Astrium, SABCA and Stork with key roles for the mechanical aspects. The arm was originally designed to be launched by the STS (mounted on a Russian module for the ISS) in 2001. However, due to delays and the STS disaster, a shift was made to the Russian Proton rocket. ERA will be launched on the Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM). This module, which is now planned for launch to the ISS in 2015, will carry the ERA. The symmetrical design of the arm with a complete 3 degree-of-freedom wrist and general-purpose end effector on both sides, allows ERA to relocate on the station by grappling a new base point and releasing the old one, and move to different working locations.

Document ID
Acquisition Source
Goddard Space Flight Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Cruijssen, H. J.
(Dutch Space B. V. Leiden, Netherlands)
Ellenbroek, M.
(Dutch Space B. V. Leiden, Netherlands)
Henderson, M.
(Dutch Space B. V. Leiden, Netherlands)
Petersen, H.
(Dutch Space B. V. Leiden, Netherlands)
Verzijden, P.
(Dutch Space B. V. Leiden, Netherlands)
Visser, M.
(Dutch Space B. V. Leiden, Netherlands)
Date Acquired
April 2, 2015
Publication Date
May 1, 2014
Publication Information
Publication: The 42nd Aerospace Mechanism Symposium
Subject Category
Mechanical Engineering
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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