Shuttle makes early departure

Staff Report

The Associated Press

JOHNSON SPACE CENTER, HOUSTON (AP) - They're trying to stay ahead of the weather, so the crew of the shuttle Endeavour has said an early goodbye to the folks on the International Space Station.  With an eye on Hurricane Dean back on earth, the shuttle undocked a day early from the space station. NASA will try to bring Endeavour home on Tuesday instead of Wednesday in case the hurricane heads toward Houston and forces an evacuation of Mission Control.

The traditional bell-ringing on the space station -- a practice taken from the Navy -- marked the departure of the shuttle and the crew that includes teacher-astronaut Barbara Morgan. They've been at the outpost since August 10th. The shuttle crew attached a new segment to the space station, delivered cargo, and replaced a failed gyroscope.

Morgan has also held classes from space for curious kids back home. She was scheduled to talk to students in Massachusetts Sunday, but that's been canceled.