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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

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Image Archive

Space Shuttle Photography

Scottsbluff

This false-color image was acquired during STS-28 by the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia. The mission objectives were never revealed to the general public since this was a mission for the United States Department of Defense (DOD). In fact the motto of the mission was "Our lips are sealed". The mission began on August 8, 1989 and concluded on August 13th. The image that you are seeing is that of the central portion of far western Nebraska. The upper left part of the image is pointing north. The dark area located just to left and up of the scene center is Lake Minatare. Just left and a little down from Lake Minatare are Lake Alice and Winters Creek Lake. The red circular features that tend to dominate the image are agricultural crops being irrigated by center-pivot irrigation systems. The bluish-colored ribbon that goes from the lower left of the scene to the upper right is the North Platte River. The airport for the nearby city of Scottsbluff can be seen to lie directly down (on the image) from Lake Minatare. Given the date of the image, it is quite likely many crops are nearly ready for harvest.