MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIF. 91109 TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov

Contact: Susan Mitgang (818) 354-0850

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 23, 2000

TOPS IN TOPOGRAPHY AVAILABLE ONLINE

       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 population.

       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 http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/ltc/jpl/srtm.html.

       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 technology.

       Educators can reach NASA Quest's Learning Technologies Channel at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov.

       Co-producing the live SRTM webcast/webchat in conjunction with NASA Quest is LiveOnTheNet.com (http://www.liveonthenet.com), 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 http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/srtm/.

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

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