STS61A-32-29

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Spacecraft nadir point: 12.1° N, 106.4° E

Photo center point: 12.0° N, 105.5° E

Nadir to Photo Center: West

Spacecraft Altitude: 176 nautical miles (326km)
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Image Caption: STS61A-32-0029 Mekong River, Cambodia November 1985
A section of the muddy-looking Mekong River meanders through the low-lying, swampy terrain in south central Cambodia. This section of the Mekong drains from the northeast (upper center) to the southwest (lower center). The capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, is located along the west bank of the river, a few miles south of the bottom edge of the image. As seen in this image, the torrential rains that come with the wet summer-fall monsoons in this part of southeast Asia taxes the carrying capacity of the Mekong River. The rice fields south of the river reflect a high degree of flooding (numerous light-colored patterns bottom half of the image). The linear, intersecting lines are primarily irrigation canals that crisscross the rice producing landscape. The irregular-shaped, darker landscapes near the main channel of the Mekong are undeveloped, swampy areas, while the angular, dark patterns (upper third) are plantations. STS61A-32-0030 is another image of the Mekong River taken roughly 40 miles (64 km) northeast of this area in Cambodia.