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Spacecraft nadir point: 47.6° N, 46.1° E

Photo center point: 48.5° N, 44.5° E

Nadir to Photo Center: Northwest

Spacecraft Altitude: 116 nautical miles (215km)
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Image Caption: STS059-217-008 Volga River, Volgograd, Russia April 1994
Volgograd, a city of more than 1 million people and a major river port and railroad junction for making connections to all parts of Russia, is located along the western shore of the Volga River. Little of the city's infrastructure is visible in this photograph; however, the following can be seen in the built-up area: two airports, large reservoirs south of the city, the Volga-Don Canal, and some railroad rights-of-way. The Volga-Don Canal is important to the area because it allows waterborne shipping from the Volga River to the Don River, through the Sea of Azov, and into the Black Sea. Despite the fact that this region is a semiarid climate zone [less than 20 inches (50 centimeters) of precipitation annually], it continues to thrive as a manufacturing and industrial center for this part of Russia. The large center island and terrain immediately to the east contain many old stream channels with many small lakes; this marshy area is an extension of the much larger Caspian Depression. Large cultivated field patterns can be seen south and west of Volgograd.