Revealing three-dimensional images of Earth's surface to be taken by a Space Shuttle-borne imaging radar this fall will be the topic of two free public lectures on July 15 at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and July 16 at Pasadena City College.

Dr. Michael Kobrick, project scientist of the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, will present "Mapping Earth in 3-D" as part of JPL's monthly von Karman Lecture Series. Kobrick will discuss the heritage of and plans for the 11-day flight of the imaging radar, set for launch aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour in mid- September. The evening lectures, both at 7 p.m., will be held at the JPL von Karman Auditorium on July 15 and at the Pasadena City College Forum on July 16. Seating is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

In September, Space Shuttle Endeavour will carry the specially modified imaging radar system into space to map 80 percent of Earth's surface and obtain the most complete, high- resolution topographic maps ever assembled. Data will benefit a wide variety of scientific disciplines such as archaeology, geology and urban planning, and will contribute significantly to community disaster preparedness services, navigational safety, weather and climate forecasting, water drainage modeling, the cellular telephone industry and cartography.

The mission, a partnership between NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense's National Imagery and Mapping Agency, will build on technology used during two 1994 imaging radar shuttle flights which improved scientists' understanding of Earth's surface and how it is changing. In addition to the JPL-built antenna, the German and Italian space agencies are contributing an experimental, high-resolution imaging radar system.

More information about JPL's von Karman Lecture Series is available on the Internet at, or by calling (818) 354-5011. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology.

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