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May 10, 2000

Ann Hutchison
Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX
(Phone: 281/483-5111)

Release: J00-28

Officials to Discuss Successful Radar Mapping Mission

Officials from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory will present findings from the recent Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) next Wednesday, May 17, in a program at the Johnson Space Center’s Teague Auditorium. The presentation, which is open to NASA employees, contractors and the public, will begin at 2 p.m. CDT.

SRTM Chief Scientist Dr. Michael Kobrick and the mission’s Chief Engineer, Ed Caro, will discuss the 11-day flight during the STS-99 mission aboard Endeavour, including the flight’s highlights, results to date, lessons learned for future flights and the overall importance of the mission. There will be a question-and-answer session at the conclusion of the presentation. The session is expected to last about an hour.

During the mission, Endeavour’s radar systems mapped more than 47.6 million square miles of the area between 60 degrees north latitude and 56 degrees south latitude at least once. This represents 99.98 percent of the planned mapping area. About 94.6 percent of it was covered twice. Only about 80,000 square miles in scattered areas remained unimaged, most of them in North America and most already well mapped by other methods. The data brought home by the seven SRTM astronauts -- collected during more than 222 hours of around-the-clock radar mapping operations -- is enough to fill more than 20,000 CDs. This information is being used to produce global maps more accurate than any available today. Scientists


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