Robotics and Space Operations

Canadarm & Canadarm2

From 1981 to 2011, the original Canadarm supported space shuttle missions, deployed satellites, serviced the Hubble Space Telescope, played a major part in the assembly of the International Space Station and was a huge source of Canadian pride. The next generation Canadarm2 was launched in 2001 and installed on the ISS by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield.

An invaluable hand

We’ve provided engineering, mission support and astronaut training for both generations of Canadarms. The Canadarm2’s first job was to connect itself to a station power supply, then pass its own shipping pallet to the Shuttle Canadarm, which was hailed as the first robotic handshake in space. Today Canadarm2 performs maintenance, moves assets, helps dock spacecraft, and supports astronaut spacewalks.


  • 1497 kg – The mass of Canadarm2; over 1000 kg more than the original
  • 400 km – Canadarm2’s distance above Earth
  • 17 m – The length of Canadarm2; 2 m longer than the original
  • 270° – The amount each of Canadarm2’s seven joints can rotate in either direction