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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 by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF