Earth observations of the Andes Mts. taken from Columbia during STS-93 mission
STS093-715-006 (23-27 July 1999) --- The STS-93 astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia took this picture featuring the early morning sun highlighting Laguna Verde and the High Andes of the Atacama Province of Chile and the Catamarca Province of Argentina. The jewel-like Laguna Verde (center left) sits amid apparent east-west lines of volcanic peaks that average 19,000 feet (5791 meters) elevation. At the upper right are darker mountains of folded and thrusted rocks. The light colored areas at the bottom are Salar de Perdenales (left) and Salar de Maricunga (right). Salars, which are common in the Andes, are salty lakebeds that are usually dry. The prevailing wind direction (out of the west) is clearly discernible at the edges of the salars. When this photo was taken, the shuttle was flying over a point located at 25.2 degrees south latitude and 70.4 degrees west longitude. Data back information on the 70mm film lists the time and date of the photo as 12:46:31 GMT, July 25, 1999 (orbit 38).