On May 2, the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, unveiled the permanent Canadarm display at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Chris Hadfield assisted in the inauguration of the exhibit from orbit as Commander of the International Space Station – a role made possible due in part to the contributions of the Canadarm.
“This exhibit commemorates an important part of our history in space. The Canadarm is a symbol of our country’s ingenuity and expertise in space robotics. It has positioned Canada as a leader in space,” said Minister Moore. “Our Government has always been a strong supporter of Canada’s space sector and we remain committed to providing our companies with real opportunities to grow, compete and create high-quality jobs for Canadians.”
Although the CSA press release states that this arm travelled “624 million kilometres and logged a total of 944 workdays in space aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour”, in fact this arm flew several missions on all of the shuttle orbiters. And the 624 million km refers to the distance flew by all the shuttles carry Canadarms. Several missions did not carry the robotic arm when it was deemed unnecessary for the mission.
The first Shuttle RMS was known within NASA and the CSA as RMS 201. It flew on 23 flights and travelled 150 million km.
It flew on the following shuttle missions:
STS 2 1981 Columbia First RMS flight
STS 3 1982 Columbia First grapple of an object
STS 4 1982 Columbia First military mission
STS 7 1983 Challenger Flight of Sally Ride
STS 8 1983 Challenger First night launch
STS 41-B 1984 Challenger Bruce McCandless MMU
STS 27R 1988 Atlantis Military mission
STS 32R 1990 Columbia LDEF Retrieval
STS 46 1992 Atlantis EUREKA deploy
STS 56 1993 Discovery ATLAS-2/SPARTAN-201
STS 51 1993 Discovery ACTS/SPAS-ORFEUS
STS 60 1994 Discovery Wake Shield Facility
STS 64 1994 Discovery SPARTAN-201
STS 63 1995 Discovery MIR Rendezvous
STS 91 1998 Discovery Final MIR Docking
STS 95 1998 Discovery Flight of John Glenn
STS 113 2002 Endeavour ISS assembly mission 11A
STS 118 2007 Endeavour Flight of CSA astronaut David Williams and Teacher Barbara Morgan
STS 123 2008 Endeavour Dextre deployed on ISS
STS 126 2008 Endeavour ULF-2
STS 127 2009 Endeavour Flight of CSA astronaut Julie Payette
STS 130 2010 Endeavour Tranquility module / Cupola
STS 134 2011 Endeavour Last flight of Endeavour
New Canadarm exhibit is unveiled in Ottawa Credit: CSA
The CSA created an interactive exhibit displaying the Canadarm, which allows visitors to navigate through the history of the robotic arm, including its greatest achievements and how its legacy continues to live on today in medical robots used in neurological and pediatric surgery.
“We invite Canadians to see space history for themselves, and tell their children and grandchildren how proud they were to see Canada on the forefront of global innovation,” said Gilles Leclerc, Acting President of the CSA.
“Our Government is proud that the Canadarm, a national icon, is going to be housed within one of our great national museums,” said Minister Moore. “We believe strongly in our national museums, and we recognize the tremendous value they hold for all Canadians as guardians of our heritage.”
In 2011, the Canadarm wrapped up 30 years of operations supporting the U.S. Space Shuttle Program. The CSA negotiated with NASA the return of this original shuttle robotic arm. Upon its return, the 15-metre arm was sent first to MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) in Brampton, for a thorough evaluation and preparation for its public display.
For other SpaceRef articles on the Canadarm display, see
Original Shuttle Canadarm to be Displayed at Museum in Ottawa
Canadarm Heads Home but How Many Canadians Will See It?
MDA Union Wants Canadarm to be Displayed in a Museum
Canadian Space Agency Requests Proposals To Display Canadarm At St. Hubert Headquarters
The Canadarm Is Returning Home
Endeavour’s Canadarm Headed to Ottawa Museum UPDATED