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Deep, Dark & Dangerous

The Story of British Columbia’s World-class Undersea Technology Industry
edition:Hardcover
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Canadarm and Collaboration
Excerpt

 

While Parazynski had dozens of hours of spacewalking experience and the ground trusted his work, the Canadian Space Agency’s Ken Podwalski still remembers the tension while watching the astronaut run through the procedures that his team helped develop.

 

“You get into this remarkable complicated [situation] ... everything piling together in terms of how bad a situation it is, but then look at the eloquence of the solution,” he said. Those elements were so simple that even a teenager could grasp them: Canadarm2, a mobile extender, cufflinks, and a hardworking team. “The way that all worked cooperatively together, it’s just almost a fascinating ... juxtaposition. I hate to use a fancy word like that, but it really kind of reflects one off the other,” Podwalski said.

 

And it worked. Did it ever work. Not only did the team save the solar array, but incredibly, this fix – thrown together over 72 gruelling hours in Montreal and Houston and other space station center locations – was still holding together beautifully nine years later, according to a photo posted on Twitter that Parazynski commented on. “Our repairs are still under warranty,” joked the retired astronaut in 2016.a href="#_ftn2" name="_ftnref2"

 

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