June 20, 2011
The crew members designed the flight insignia for the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), the most ambitious Earth mapping mission to date. Two radar antennas, one located in the Shuttle bay and the other located on the end of a 60-meter deployable mast, will be used during the mission to map Earth's features. The goal is to provide a 3-dimensional topographic map of the world's surface up to the Arctic and Antarctic Circles. The clear portion of Earth illustrates the radar beams penetrating its cloudy atmosphere and the unique understanding of the home planet that is provided by space travel. The grid on Earth reflects the mapping character of the SRTM mission. The patch depicts the Space Shuttle Endeavour orbiting Earth in a star spangled universe. The rainbow along Earth's horizon resembles an orbital sunrise. The crew deems the bright colors of the rainbow as symbolic of the bright future ahead because of human beings' venturing into space.
Topics: Environment, Space Shuttle Endeavour, Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, Geographic information systems, Religion Belief, SRTM Water Body Data, STS-99