Endeavouring to Bring Shuttle Home Safe Despite Dean

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER -- Space shuttle Endeavour is coming home a day early.

NASA cut the mission short out of fear that Hurricane Dean might disrupt flight operations.

The shuttle is now scheduled to depart from the international space station Sunday. Landing is set for Tuesday.

The astronauts had hurriedly completed a shortened spacewalk Saturday and were still cleaning up from it when the decision came down from mission managers. The two crews shook hands and said goodbye, then closed the hatches between their docked spacecraft.

NASA was worried the hurricane might veer toward Houston, the home of Mission Control, forcing an emergency relocation of flight controllers to Cape Canaveral. The makeshift control center there would not be nearly as good or big as the Houston operation.

Hurricane Dean, a fierce Category 4 storm, is headed toward Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and the Gulf of Mexico.

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