Shuttle Crew Return Moon Rock to Space
Apollo 11 rock left behind as Endeavour finishes mission to ISS
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2010 11:34 PM CST
Mountaineering astronaut Scott Parazynski holds up a moon rock at the top of Mount Everest.   (NASA)
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(Newser) – The Endeavour shuttle departed the ISS last night, leaving behind the station's new connecting hub and observation deck as well as one well-traveled lump of rock. A lunar rock brought to Earth by Neil Armstrong and brought to the top of Mount Everest by astronaut Scott Parazynski is now an ornament in the station's windowed cupola, along with fragments of Everest, InformationWeek reports.

The rocks will serve as "a reminder of man's reach and man's grit," Endeavour commander George Zamka said. The shuttle's crew will spend a day inspecting Endeavour for any damage sustained while in orbiting before returning to Earth tomorrow night. Only four shuttle missions now remain before the program is cancelled at the end of this year.