On 31 January 2000, the Space Shuttle Endeavour was launched on a mission to complete the most extensive topographic survey of the Earth's surface to date. The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) collected radar data, using a technique called SAR interferometry. This data will enable scientists to produce detailed three-dimensional models of 80% of the planet's surface. These will be the first 3D maps of developing countries and large areas of the Earth's sparsely populated desert and forest. Benefits in collecting this data will include improved forecasting of environmental conditions, increased navigational safety, help with urban planning and road construction. Crew members were Kevin Kregel (NASA), Dominic Gorie (NASA), Janet Kavandi (NASA), Janice Voss (NASA), Mamoru Mohri (NASDA), and Gerhard Thiele (ESA) on his first ever space mission.
The SRTM payload is a joint project between NASA, NIMA (National Image and Mapping Agency), DLR (German Aerospace Centre) and ASI (Italian Space Agency).
This video provides a post flight summary of the mission, as follows: launch pad, dusk, Kennedy Space Center, Florida; crew suit up; crew take practise drive on armoured personnel carrier; crew leave operations and checkout building; shot of Space Shuttle Endeavour; crew helped into position for launch; shuttle on launch pad; ignition of main engines; various views of launch; interior view of crew at launch; jettison of solid rocket motors; external tank ejection; Earth view from shuttle; opening of payload doors; view of radar turning; Kavandi and Thiele turn on payload systems; extension of long antenna mast; graphic sequences showing mast extension; mast base plate locks; view of mast from Commander's window; graphics of antenna mast deployment; graphics showing antennae alignment and SRTM mapping system; Mohri changes magnetic tapes used to record radar data; various footage of crew activities; Earth views from shuttle - Pacific Ocean through to Bolivia, South America; coral and sand of Bahamas; desert i