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The Nation | IN BRIEF / IN SPACE

NASA's Railroad Just Slightly Off Track

April 16, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

Astronauts sent the international space station's rail car down a short stretch of track, but it hit a snag that interrupted its inaugural run in orbit.

Engineers suspect the 1-ton rail car floated slightly off the track. The vehicle won't roll completely off because of the steel girder holding it to the space station, said NASA's Ben Sellari.

" . . . What we're finding out as we go through this is how the mobile transporter works in zero-g," said Sellari.

Astronauts plan a fourth, final spacewalk today. Atlantis will undock from the station Wednesday.

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