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Contact: Susan Mitgang (818) 354-0850


People around the world will have a chance to interact
online with Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) experts from
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, CA, in a live
mission webcast/webchat scheduled for March 28 from 10 a.m. to
noon PST .

“During this third Internet opportunity, the public will be
able to hear firsthand from the scientists, engineers,
technicians and administrators who helped make this unprecedented
mapping mission a success,” said SRTM team member Annie
Richardson. Audience participants will be able to question
astronaut Janice Voss, STS-99 mission specialist and member of
the crew that deployed SRTM from the Space Shuttle Endeavour on
February 11.

SRTM used an advanced radar technique to obtain data that
will be used to produce the most precise, near-global topographic
map ever. With nearly flawless operations, SRTM mapped 99.9
percent of the intended coverage of nearly 80 percent of the
Earth’s landmass. The area is home to about 95% of the world’s

The audience will learn about the challenges the crew faced
during the deployment of SRTM. Many of the webcast panelists
were involved in mission operations either at Kennedy Space
Center in Florida or Johnson Space Center in Texas. Through
webcasts, Internet participants can watch live video, hear the
discussions, and interact in real time with these mission
experts. Also participating is Paul Andres, data system lead from
the Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students (EarthKAM)
project. The EarthKAM payload was used by hundreds of students
around the world to obtain more than 2,700 photographs of Earth
from space.

A complete schedule of the SRTM webcast can be found at

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

Educators can reach NASA Quest’s Learning Technologies
Channel at

Co-producing the live SRTM webcast/webchat in conjunction
with NASA Quest is
(, which makes it possible for
audiences worldwide to participate in internet events. Also
supporting this event 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.

Further information on the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission
is available at

JPL manages SRTM for NASA’s Office of Earth Science,
Washington, DC. JPL is a division of the California Institute of
Technology in Pasadena.