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The Nation | IN BRIEF / IN SPACE

Shuttle Chases Station With a Major Delivery

April 10, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

With every lap around Earth, space shuttle Atlantis drew closer to the international space station to deliver the first piece of a framework that ultimately will outstretch a football field.

Atlantis is hauling a 44-foot-long, 14 1/2-foot-wide aluminum girder that is full of plumbing and wiring and, with 475,000 parts, ranks right behind the space station laboratory in complexity.

The $600-million girder, due to arrive today, will serve as the backbone for a framework that eventually will extend 356 feet and support a collection of giant solar wings and radiators.

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