Did Arthur C Clarke make a boo boo?

I'm rereading Rendezvous with Rama. At the end of chapter 5 First EVA the main character turns a wheel with his own hands (in an EVA suit of course). Then Clarke writes this sentence: "Half a meter away, the curving wall of the pillbox started to move..." If I'm not mistaken, half a meter would be about 19 inches. But 19 inches isn't exactly "away". It'd be literally right next to them. Maybe he meant to say half a kilometer?

Obviously this doesn't take away one jot from the book, but just it was an odd little mistake. Thoughts?
meh ... I don't see that as a problem. I can bump into things that are 6 inches away ... to me, "away" (in narrative) just means: "over there" ... I rely on context to tell me how far away over there is. All the same, it's been more than two decades since I read Rendezvous With Rama ... :rolleyes:
My thinking is that if you're in an EVA suit then you have a bit of sensory deprivation going on so something that is only 19" away physically may seem to be a greater obstacle than it really is.