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Auxiliary Power Units

Troubleshooters are expected to scrutinize the shuttle Columbia's auxiliary power units, which help provide power to the orbiter's steering mechanisms during descent -- a task that requires highly flammable fuel. NPR's Howard Berkes joins host Steve Inskeep to talk about the role APUs play in reentry and why their redesign had been on NASA's to-do list.

Copyright 2003 NPR

Steve Inskeep is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.
Howard Berkes is a correspondent for the NPR Investigations Unit.