After their arrival at the Shuttle Landing Facility, the STS-99 crew talk to the media. At the microphone is Mission Specialist Gerhard Thiele, with the European Space Agency. At left is Commander Kevin Kregel. . The crew are here to take part in a Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT), which provides simulated countdown exercises, emergency egress training, and opportunities to inspect the mission payloads in the orbiter's payload bay. Others taking part in the TCDT are Pilot Dominic Gorie and Mission Specialists Janice Voss (Ph.D.), Janet Lynn Kavandi (Ph.D.), Mamoru Mohri, who is with the National Space Development Agency (NASDA) of Japan. STS-99 is the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, which will chart a new course, using two antennae and a 200-foot-long section of space station-derived mast protruding from the payload bay to produce unrivaled 3-D images of the Earth's surface. The result of the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission could be close to 1 trillion measurements of the Earth's topography. Besides contributing to the production of better maps, these measurements could lead to improved water drainage modeling, more realistic flight simulators, better locations for cell phone towers, and enhanced navigation safety. Launch of Endeavour on the 11-day mission is scheduled for Jan. 31 at 12:47 p.m. EST. (Photo Release Date: 01/11/2000 )
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