On February 11, 2000, the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) payload
onboard Space Shuttle Endeavour launched into space. With its radars
sweeping most of the Earth's surfaces, SRTM acquired enough data during
its ten days of operation to obtain the most complete near-global
high-resolution database of the Earth's topography.
To acquire topographic (elevation) data, the SRTM payload was outfitted with two radar
antennas. One antenna was located in the shuttle's payload bay, the other on the end of a 60-meter (200-foot) mast that extended
from the payload pay once the Shuttle was in space.
The Shuttle Radar Topography
Mission is an international project spearheaded by the
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).