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Spacecraft nadir point: 27.6° S, 22.0° E

Photo center point: 31.0° S, 22.0° E

Nadir to Photo Center: South

Spacecraft Altitude: 320 nautical miles (593km)
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Image Caption: STS061-103-032 Republic of South Africa December 1993
Several features are visible in this south-looking, low-oblique photograph of the Republic of South Africa--the southern extent of the reddish-brown Kalahari Desert with its northwest-southeast-trending sand dunes and dry lakebeds to the northwest; the westward-flowing Orange River south of the true desert; Cape Town, the Cape of Good Hope, and Cape Agulhas barely discernible near the southern horizon; and the cape ranges of folded mountains near the extreme southern point of South Africa. The area between the Kalahari and the southern mountains, the heart of South Africa, is not mountainous, but is an elevated plateau with some hilly topography. Much of the plateau, some of it 5000 feet (1525 meters) above sea level, is covered by tall grasses that give a prairie-like appearance. Some areas surrounding the elevated plateau (called the veld by Dutch settlers) contain sizable escarpments that drop several thousand feet (several thousand meters).