Shop Windows to the Universe

Arches National Park Geology Tour provides an extensive, visually rich description of the geology of Arches, by Deborah Ragland, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.
Columbia touches down
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA

Excellent Landing Doesn't Do Away with Disappointment
News story originally written on December 5, 1997

Columbia wrapped up its 16-day, six and a half million mile mission early this morning. Touchdown was at 6:20 a.m. CDT. The landing was an excellent one.

On the mission, astronauts completed microgravity research and tested tools and techniques that will be used for the building of the International Space Station. Despite a good landing and successful research, one thing keeps the astronauts from being simply satisfied.

During the mission, the SPARTAN satellite was deployed, but it malfunctioned within minutes of being released. When recovery of the satellite was attempted, astronaut Chawla acidentally bumped the satellite with the shuttle robotic arm which sent the satellite tumbling. Most of the mission from this point on was focussed on retrieving the satellite. While scientists are happy to have their satellite back, the craft was unable to make a single observation of the Sun. Disappointment can be seen in the faces of crew STS-87.

The astronauts are scheduled to reunite with their families tonight in Houston, Texas.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, as well as books on science education!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

U.S. is Fed Up with Russia

Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials are demanding an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting...more

1999--A Year in Review...

It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more

STS-95 Launch: "Let the wings of Discovery lift us on to the future."

The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center at 2:19 p.m. EST, October 29th. The sky was clear and the weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit for the Unitied...more

Moon Found Orbiting Asteroid

A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more

More on Recent Coronal Mass Ejection

During a period of about two days in early May, 1998, the ACE spacecraft was immersed in plasma associated with a coronal mass ejection (CME). The SWICS instrument on ACE, which determines unambiguously...more

Mother Nature's Air Conditioning

J.S. Maini of the Canadian Forest Service has referred to forests as the "heart and lungs of the world." Forests reduce soil erosion, maintain water quality, contribute to atmospheric humidity and cloud...more

Planetary Alignment 2002

In late April through mid-May 2002, all five naked-eye planets are visible simultaneously in the night sky! This is includes Mercury which is generally very hard to see because of its proximity to the...more

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