John Bluck

NASA Ames Research Center, Silicon Valley, CA

650/604-5026 or 604-9000

Diane Ainsworth

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA



People worldwide will be able to use the Internet to interact live with
scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, about the
upcoming Shuttle Radar Topography Mission.

Scheduled for a Jan. 31 launch on Space Shuttle Endeavour, STS-99, the
radar topography mission is designed to map up to 80 percent of the Earth’s
landmass during the 11-day mission. The area to be mapped is home to about
95% of the world’s population. The three Shuttle Radar Topography Mission
webcasts and webchats are scheduled for Jan. 21, Feb. 9 and Feb. 28, at 10
a.m. PST (1 p.m. Eastern time).

“During three special Internet opportunities, audiences will be
given the chance to interact live with JPL scientists, engineers,
technicians and
administrators from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission project, before,
during and after the mission.” said Linda Conrad of the NASA Quest Project,
NASA Ames Research Center, Silicon Valley, CA.

The mission will use an advanced radar technique to acquire data to
produce the most precise, near-global, topographic map ever.

The radar topography mission Internet events will include webchats and
webcasts, during which panelists will discuss a variety of topics about the
project, including some of the technological challenges that are involved
in this complex mission. Webcasts enable the Internet audience to watch
live video, hear the discussions and interact in real time with experts
participating in the mission.

The team members scheduled to appear during the January
21 event include: Jennifer Cruz, system engineer for the ground data
processing system; JPL radar interferometry experts Drs. Gilles Peltzer and
Eric Rignot; image processing expert and member of the Shuttle Radar
Topography Mission real-time science team Dr. Robert Crippen; Shuttle Radar
Topography Mission project secretary Debra Higuera; and the project’s
education outreach coordinator, Annie Richardson.

A complete schedule of the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission Quest
can be found at

NASA Quest webcasts also provide opportunities for educators from
all over
the world to bring Earth science content to the classroom through Internet
technology. Webcasts are just one of many Internet offerings from NASA
Quest. Other online, interactive projects connect students with NASA
employees and are designed to inspire young people to pursue careers in
high technology.

Educators can reach NASA Quest’s Learning Technologies Channel on the
Internet at NASA’s Quest Project is based at NASA
Ames, Silicon Valley, CA.

Co-producing the live Shuttle Radar Topography Mission webchats and
webcasts in conjunction with NASA Quest is
(, making it possible for audiences worldwide
to participate in Internet events. Also supporting the live events is the
JPL Design Hub, a facility where new spacecraft are designed on the drawing
boards of computer screens and special wall-mounted computerized
whiteboards. The Design Hub provides engineers a collaborative design,
common electronic database analysis and manufacturing processing environment.

For further information on the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission,
visit the
JPL project web site at