Endeavour Returns Home

Shuttle touches down a day early to beat Hurricane Dean
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2007 3:11 PM CDT

(Newser) – Endeavour landed safely in Florida this afternoon, a day earlier than planned. Damage sustained during launch didn't affect the space shuttle's return from its 13-day mission, and neither did Hurricane Dean, CNN reports. "Welcome back. You give new meaning to the term 'higher education,' " Mission Control told the crew, which included the first teacher in space.

Reentry was moved up a day for fear that the storm would shut down the Johnson Space Center in Texas. The hurricane danger passed, but the decision to cut the mission short had already been made. The crew had to shorten a spacewalk and scramble to get a number of missions accomplished in time.