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This image was requested by Buist Academy for the purpose of studying the coast of Israel and the Mediterranean Sea. The Kidsat electronic still camera, using a 50 mm lens, was used to take this picture which covers an area 102.25 km long and 152.98 km wide. The image is centered at 32.7 degrees north latitude, 34.22 degrees east longitude. Due to shuttle orientation, north is located at approximately eleven o'clock in this image. The Gaza Strip is inhabited by more than 800, 000 Palestinian Arabs and approximately 4,800 Jewish settlers. This image shows the Gaza Strip and the Mediterranean Sea. The border can be seen within the image because of a difference in vegetation patterns, the Egyptian side being less vegetated perhaps due to heavy use of the land for grazing. Like the West Bank, the Gaza Strip was included as part of the British Mandate that lasted from 1917 to 1948. In 1948, an area west of the Jordan River was given to the Jewish people, and the country of Israel was established. Palestinian refugees settled in Gaza and in the West Bank. Since 1948, the Arabs and the Israelis have fought four wars over land. More recently, peace negotiations have occurred between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat. KidSat gives students across the country a chance to view and learn about Earth using and commanding their own instruments in space. The KidSat project is a result of the effort and collaboration of Johns Hopkins University's Institute for Academic Advancement of Youth, the University of California, San Diego, and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. KidSat includes a payload of digital still and video cameras that fly on the Space Shuttle. Students operate these cameras from their classrooms, sending instructions to KidSat Mission Control Center at UC San Diego via the Internet to photograph specific regions of Earth they wish to study. Image data are sent to the KidSat data system during the mission and these images are accessible in the classroom in real time, again using the Internet. At JPL, students on the exploration team research the surrounding area of images and write a summary of its history as shown above. The KidSat project allows students to explore Earth from space and learn about its past and its fragile, ever-changing environment. Images and student results will be posted on the KidSat home page. Interested public school districts, teachers, and students may view the images and information provided by students during the mission via this World Wide Web site: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/kidsat The KidSat pilot program is sponsored by NASA's Office of Human Resources and Education, with support from the Offices of Space Flight, Mission to Planet Earth and Space Science.
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