Man, I wonder how NASA broke the news.
LOMBARD, Ill. – The 90-year-old mother of a NASA astronaut aboard the international space station died Wednesday when a train struck her vehicle, police said.
A preliminary investigation showed that Rose Tani, the mother of astronaut Daniel M. Tani, stopped behind a school bus pausing at a train crossing, Raymond Byrne, police chief in this Chicago suburb, said in a statement. She drove around the bus, bypassing the lowered crossing gate, he said.
The train struck Tani’s vehicle on the passenger side and pushed it down the tracks before stopping. Paramedics took Tani to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
“All indications are that the crossing gates and warning signals were functioning properly at the time of the accident,” Byrne said.
Daniel Tani, 46, has made several journeys into space. He was a flight engineer on the Space Shuttle Discovery when it took off on Oct. 23 and was scheduled to remain on the space station until Jan. 8.
Tani and another astronaut ventured out of the space station Tuesday to inspect two defective mechanisms hobbling power generation.
NASA officials did not immediately return a telephone message left after business hours Wednesday.