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  Image: Geographic Location Direction Photo #: ISS022-E-8282 Date: Dec. 2009
Geographic Region: CHILE
Feature: EVAPORATION POND WEST OF SALAR DE PUNTA NEGRA

Ordering information for space photography
 
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  View Low-Resolution Image  
  Escondida Copper Mine, Atacama Desert, Chile

The Escondida copper-gold-silver mine produces more copper than any other mine in the world (1.483 million tons in 2007), amounting to 9.5% of world output and making it a major part of the Chilean economy. The mine is located 170 kilometers (110 miles) southeast of Chile’s port city of Antofagasta, in the hyper-arid northern Atacama Desert at an elevation of 3,050 meter (10,010 feet) above sea level.

This astronaut photograph features a large impoundment area (image center) containing light tan and gray waste materials (“spoil”) from of the Escondida mine complex. The copper-bearing waste, which is a large proportion of the material excavated from open pit excavations to the north (not shown), is poured into the impoundment area as a liquid (green region at image center), and dries to the lighter-toned spoil seen in the image. The spoil is held behind a retaining dam, just more than 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) long, visible as a straight line at image lower left.

Escondida means “hidden” in Spanish, and it refers to the fact that the copper ore body was buried beneath hundreds of meters of barren rock, and the surface geology gave no signs of its presence. Instead it had to be located by a laborious drilling program following a geologic trend—an imaginary line hundreds of kilometers long established by other known copper finds—with which Escondida lined up.

Escondida produces mainly copper concentrates. Assisted by gravity, the concentrates are piped as slurry down to the smaller port of Coloso just south of Antofagasta, where they are dewatered for shipping. The mine began operating in 1990.
 
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Images: All Available Images Low-Resolution 196k
Mission: ISS022  
Roll - Frame: E - 8282
Geographical Name: CHILE  
Features: EVAPORATION POND WEST OF SALAR DE PUNTA NEGRA  
Center Lat x Lon: 24.4S x 69.1W
Film Exposure:   N=Normal exposure, U=Under exposed, O=Over exposed, F=out of Focus
Percentage of Cloud Cover-CLDP: 10
 
Camera: N2
 
Camera Tilt: 21   LO=Low Oblique, HO=High Oblique, NV=Near Vertical
Camera Focal Length: 800  
 
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: W   The direction from the nadir to the center point, N=North, S=South, E=East, W=West
Stereo?:   Y=Yes there is an adjacent picture of the same area, N=No there isn't
Orbit Number: 3363  
 
Date: 20091209   YYYYMMDD
Time: 205650   GMT HHMMSS
Nadir Lat: 24.6S  
Latitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Nadir Lon: 67.9W  
Longitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Sun Azimuth: 256   Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point
Space Craft Altitude: 188   nautical miles
Sun Elevation: 28   Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point
Land Views: DESERT  
Water Views:  
Atmosphere Views:  
Man Made Views: DAM  
City Views:  
Photo is not associated with any sequences


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