Payload Canister Damaged in Mishap

Associated Press

A canister used to move space shuttle payloads was damaged at an assembly building Saturday when a crane apparently failed and dropped a 20-ton concrete weight on it, NASA reported.

The weight hit the top of the 65-foot-tall carrier, "striking a door a glancing blow as it fell to the floor of the canister," a National Aeronautics and Space Administration statement said.

The concrete weight being lifted out of the canister "was just about clear of the canister's doors when an apparent crane failure caused the weight to fall," it said.

The concrete was being used to simulate a payload for a test. The canister is the size of a shuttle cargo bay.

The statement said no one was injured, and an inspection was being made to determine the extent of the damage.

The container is one of two available at the Kennedy Space Center for transporting satellites and other shuttle payloads from a processing building to the launching pad. NASA said the accident would have no impact on launching schedules.

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