Return to Human Space Flight home page

Click for Snap ShotsClick for Interactive StoryClick for previous page
Mobile Servicing SystemTitle Graphic
Personal Space
Alain DubeauClick for video


Nationality:
Canadian

Job Title:

Manager / Canadian Space Station Program

Hometown:
St-Bruno de Montarville, Province of Quebec Canada

Childhood Dream:
Pilot and Aerospace Engineer (Has accomplished both!)

Personal:
Wife: Marianne Cote
Children: Carl, Isabelle, Audrey, Mathieu

Favorite URLs:
www.nasa.gov
www.space.com
www.heavens-above.com

Favorite TV Show:
JAG

Favorite Movie:
October Sky, Apollo 13, Memphis Belle

Favorite Dish:
Tourtié du Lac Saint-Jean (Shepherd's Pie)

Last Book Read:
"Failure is Not an Option," by legendary Flight Director Gene Kranz

Favorite Music CD:
Neige from André Gagnon

Hobbies:
Hiking with the Scouts

Alain Dubeau[ 1 ] [ 2 ]

Trail of Discovery
Space ViewLike any good scout, Alain Dubeau knows the key to going on the trail is being prepared. "If you can live on the trail and learn to survive using the environment around you, then there are no limits," he said. As manager of the Canadian Space Station Program, he thinks the space station is on a similar journey. "If we keep doing space exploration, I believe we need to do it as a planet."


New World View
"If you look at history 60 years ago, the same partners that are building the space station today," said Dubeau, "were at war." He thinks it's a miracle. "Just the human aspect of different countries working together is fantastic." Most of his career has been involved with aerospace (29 years in the Air Force). "To work with airplanes, then work with space, with astronauts, cosmonauts, to meet them, to know their story--I've never seen such an environment."


Canada Lends a Hand (and an Arm) Rendering of MSS
"Without this, we cannot assemble the space station," said Dubeau of the Canada Space Agency's elaborate robotics system. The Mobile Servicing System is pivotal to the station's continued construction and operation in orbit. The mobile servicer is made up of three parts: the Space Station Remote Manipulator System, a 55-foot-long "arm"; the Mobile Remote Servicer Base System, a work platform and storage area; and the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator, better known as the "hand." Expanding upon its space shuttle success, this new arm can "walk" and pick up and use the hand, which has two arms of its own. The arm will be aboard Mission STS-100, scheduled for launch in April 2001, along with Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield who will perform a space walk to install it.Technical Illustration of MSS Once in place, Canada will provide logistic and engineering support. Dubeau is very proud of Canada's contribution: "It's not only me; it's all the people working on this program. It's a huge team, and every day we're making history."


Plays Well With Others
Shuttle carrying MSSJust to build space station will take 45 launches of over 100 pieces to be integrated in space. "That means all the interfaces must be well-defined and well-tested. You cannot afford to send one of those modules in space, and it cannot talk to another module." The Multi-element Integration test is designed to let all the pieces "play" together on the ground (usually at Kennedy Space Center) to make sure they can work together in space. "We do this type of testing to mitigate all the risk."

Robotic Park
The same engineers who designed the "Canada Arm" robotics built the Dino the Dinosaur at Universal Studios used for education and entertainment. Dino's eyes move, moisture comes out of his nose, and 27 moving joints make him one big attraction.


Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 06/24/2003
Web Accessibility and Policy Notices