Education

Endeavour Touches Down

By The Associated Press — August 21, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Space shuttle Endeavour returned to Earth on Tuesday, ending a nearly two-week orbital drama that centered on a deep gouge in the shuttle’s belly and an early homecoming prompted by a hurricane.

The space shuttle swooped out of the partly cloudy sky and touched down on the runway at 12:32 p.m.

“Congratulations. Welcome home. You’ve given a new meaning to higher education,” Mission Control told commander Scott Kelly and his crew, which included teacher-turned-astronaut Barbara Morgan.

See Also

Read more at our Teachers in Space page.

Morgan had been teacher Christa McAuliffe’s backup for the doomed Challenger flight in 1986. During the mission, Morgan took time to answer questions from students in Idaho, Virginia and Canada.

The main concern for much of the mission was the gouge to Endeavour’s protective tiles. NASA did not want the shuttle to suffer any structural damage that, while not catastrophic, might require lengthy postflight repairs.

Over the past few days and right up until landing, NASA had stressed that the 3½-inch-long gouge in Endeavour’s belly would not endanger the shuttle during its landing. In 2003, a damaged wing on shuttle Columbia had allowed hot gases to seep in during the re-entry, tearing the shuttle apart.

There was zero chance of a Columbia-style catastrophe this time, NASA managers insisted, although they acknowledged re-entry was always risky.

The damaged area on Endeavour was subjected to 2,000-degree temperatures during the hottest part of atmospheric re-entry, but engineers were convinced after a week of thermal analyses and tests that the spacecraft would hold up.

With its pilots reporting no problems, Endeavour zoomed over the South Pacific, crossed Central America and Cuba, then headed up the Florida peninsula into Kennedy Space Center. Its trip spanned 13 days and 5.3 million miles.

Related Tags:

Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Events

Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Chronic Teacher Shortage: Where Do We Go From Here?  
Join Peter DeWitt, Michael Fullan, and guests for expert insights into finding solutions for the teacher shortage.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
Mission Possible: Saving Time While Improving Student Outcomes
Learn how district leaders are maximizing instructional time and finding the best resources for student success through their MTSS framework.
Content provided by Panorama Education
Reading & Literacy K-12 Essentials Forum Writing and the Science of Reading
Join us for this free event as we highlight and discuss the intersection of reading and writing with Education Week reporters and expert guests.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: January 18, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Letter to the Editor EdWeek's Most-Read Letters of 2022
Here are this year’s top five Letters to the Editor.
1 min read
Education Week opinion letters submissions
Gwen Keraval for Education Week
Education In Their Own Words Withstanding Trauma, Leading With Honesty, and More: The Education Stories That Stuck With Us
Our journalists highlight why stories on the impact of trauma on schooling and the fallout of the political discourse on race matter to the field.
4 min read
Kladys Castellón prays during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
Kladys Castellón prays during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.
Billy Calzada/The San Antonio Express-News via AP
Education In Their Own Words Masking, Miscarriages, and Mental Health: The Education Stories That Stuck With Us
Our reporters share the stories they wrote that rose above the fray—and why.
5 min read
Crystal Curtis and her son, Jordan Curtis, outside their home in Plano, Texas. Crystal, a healthcare professional whose son attends school in Plano talks about the challenges of ensuring quality schooling, her discomfort with the state and district’s rollback of mandatory masking, and the complications of raising a Black child in a suburban district as policies shift.
Crystal Curtis and her son, Jordan Curtis, outside their home in Plano, Texas. Crystal, a healthcare professional whose son attends school in Plano talks about the challenges of ensuring quality schooling, her discomfort with the state and district’s rollback of mandatory masking, and the complications of raising a Black child in a suburban district as policies shift.
Allison V. Smith for Education Week