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Spacecraft nadir point: 18.5° S, 129.1° E

Photo center point: 17.5° S, 129.0° E

Nadir to Photo Center: North

Spacecraft Altitude: 241 nautical miles (446km)
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Image Caption: STS033-082-021 Ord River and Lake Argyle, Western Australia November 1989
Lake Argyle and the rugged eastern portion of the Kimberley Plateau are visible in this low-oblique, north-northwest-looking photograph. Lake Argyle is part of the Ord River irrigation scheme, which provides a consistent supply of water for agriculture in this region. Because of the monsoonal climate, the region receives rainfall approximately 4 months of the year. The Ord River rises in the high Kimberley Plateau near the Durack Range (not visible in the photograph) and flows generally northward 200 miles (320 kilometers) before emptying into the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf near the city of Wyndham (not visible in the photograph). The Kimberley Plateau, once a limestone and coral bank larger than the present Great Barrier Reef, comprises a number of varied ranges, most of which are composed of rugged sandstone dissected by deep gorges. The aborigine word for the Kimberley is Wandjima, "the land of the wind and the water." Population is sparse, and transportation routes are almost nonexistent in this hot, desolate wilderness.