Space: Putting an Arm on Space

Columbia is back with upside-down experiments

Nothing quite like it has ever been attempted in space. As the gleaming white-and-black orbiter hurtles across the skies, a long, mechanical arm, rather like the boom of a cherry picker, will emerge slowly from the spacecraft's cargo bay. Bending and flexing its metallic muscles, the multijointed limb will reach out into space almost as if it were guided by an independent intelligence of its own.

The high-level arm-twisting should be the highlight of the space shuttle Columbia 's second flight, slated to begin with another thunderous Florida...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!