HIT Technology Expedites the Installation of a Suspension System on the Robotic Arm of the Space Station


At 1:16 a.m. on Nov. 8 (Beijing Time), Taikonauts Zhai Zhigang and Wang Yaping, after 6.5-hour extravehicular activities (EVAs) safely returned to the space station core module Tianhe, according to the China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO). Meanwhile, Wang’s EVAs make her the country’s first female astronaut to leave footprints in outer space. The first EVAs of the Shenzhou-13 crew was a complete success. The crew members successfully installed the robotic arm suspension device and an adapter for it, laying a solid foundation for the subsequent double robotic arm combination operation task.The suspension device on the robotic arm and some of the components mounted in this task were jointly developed by the Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) and Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics (CIOMP). The arm adapter can combine the 10-metre-long core module arm with the 5-metre-long experimental module arm to achieve electrical and information interconnection between the two arms. By combining the two arms through the arm adapter, the reach of the entire arm system is extended to 14.5 meters and the range of movement can directly cover the three modules of the space station. The suspension device on the robotic arm is installed on the exterior of the core module by the astronauts to capture and store the adapter and to provide power to the adapter. The suspension device has a claw, which can automatically hold, lock, or release the adapter on command, providing for its long term stay outside the module.



Shenzhou-13 crew stepped out of the cabin.


the robotic arm operation