This universal robotically operated leavebehind gripper allows robotic (or extravehicular activity — EVA) attachment capability of any object at eight existing types of attachments at the International Space Station (ISS). It enables expansion of external stowage and payload sites to include hundreds to thousands of available, existing sites at ISS, without EVA.

The robotically operated leavebehind foot holds tightly to eight different fasteners, including WIF (Worksite Interface) sockets, microsquares, microconicals, all U.S. and Russian handrails [including IVA (intra-vehicular handrails), seat track, and all shuttle-compatible grapple fixtures such as FRGFs (Flight Releasable Grapple Fixtures) and EFGFs (Electrical Flight Grapple Fixtures), but not PDGFs (Power & Data Grapple Fixtures)]. The gripper is also EVA-compatible. Once it has grabbed the fixed point on the ISS exterior, it can be left behind, and can be re-grappled, removed, and moved/attached anywhere else, at any time.

This work was done by John Bacon of Johnson Space Center. MSC-25882-1

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the November, 2015 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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