Researchers at the SickKids Hospital Centre for Image-Guided Innovation & Therapeutic Intervention (CIGITI) in Toronto, Canada, turned to the technology behind Dextre, the Canadian Space Agency’s robotic handyman on the International Space Station, to build a new robot capable of performing delicate procedures on little patients more accurately and faster than a surgeon’s hands. This new application of Canadian space technology is set to pave the way for new pediatric surgical tools that will make procedures safer and less invasive. The third version of the robot is currently being tested and shows promising applications for fetal, neurological, cardiac and urological surgeries.
In space, it is critical that each astronaut be able to apply knowledge and skills for a specific mission as well as those that may be needed in the event of unforeseen circumstances. An astronaut must therefore have a wide variety of technical qualifications and interpersonal skills, which are developed through a customized training program that continues throughout his or her career—even during missions.
For five months, from December 21, 2012 to May 13, 2013, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield lived and worked aboard the International Space Station (ISS). He conducted Canadian and international science experiments, maintained the Space Station, operated Canadarm2 and performed robotics tasks. On March 13, 2013 he became the first Canadian Commander of the ISS. During his mission he captured in videos, photos and words his experience as an ISS astronaut.