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Space Shuttle Endeavour touched down at Kennedy Space Center last
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Courtesy of NASA

Endeavour Mission is Complete
News story originally written on March 01, 2000

After 11 long and stressful days in space, the Space Shuttle Endeavour and its crew landed safely at Kennedy Space Center last week. The astronauts completed the mission, which involved a detailed mapping of almost the entire planet. Astronauts gave the mission an "A+" because they mapped 80% of Earth's surface.

The mission was anything but boring. Troubles with latches and a faulty thruster threatened to end the mission prematurely. Fortunately, NASA scientists found ways to save on fuel, allowing the shuttle to complete the mission. The difficulties didn't end there, as heavy winds almost forced Endeavour to land at another sight in California.

Special radar equipment was used to map the Earth's surface. This is the first time maps will be created with all of the data coming from one source. The radar was used because it can penetrate through cloud cover. Scientists say it will take one to two years before the data will be completely turned into an actual map.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA