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STS-99 Space Shuttle Mission

The @stro object for the week of 01/31/2000

Space Shuttle and SRTM

image courtesy of NASA/Ball Aerospace

STS-99. The next Space Shuttle mission, due to launch on 02/09/2000, will be a special mission dedicated to providing highly accurate topographical maps of most of the surface of Earth. The Shuttle will be crewed by Pilot Dominic Gorie, Commander Kevin Kregel, and Mission Specialists Janice Voss, Janet Kavandi, Gerhard Thiele and Mamoru Mohri.

The mission is called the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, or SRTM. The Shuttle will orbit the Earth ~176 times utilizing a radar system that employs interferometry. Radar signals will be fired from the end of a mast extending from the Shuttle and from inside the Shuttle bay simultaneously, and interference between the beams will be recorded on-board the Shuttle. It is this interference that will be used to determine topographic data. The mast is 200 feet long and will be the longest rigid structure ever deployed in space.

Data from the mission, which is sponsored by international and domestic partnerships, will be analyzed for the next two years and will not be available for consumption by general public due to security concerns.

Current information for STS-99:
Orbiter Vehicle: Endeavor/OV-105
Estimated Launch Date: February 9, 2000
Estimated Launch Time: TBA
Estimated Landing Date: February 20, 2000
Estimated Landing Time: TBA
Duration of Mission: 11 days, 4 hours

more info on the SRTM...

Universe Today coverage of STS-99

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