Skip to Main Content


Shuttle Imaging Radar

Phase: Past

Launch Date: April 19, 1994

Mission Project Home Page -

Pin it

SIR-C/X-SAR, part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth, was studying how our global environment is changing. From the unique vantage point of space, the radar system observed, monitored and assessed large-scale environmental processes with a focus on climate change. The spaceborne data, complemented by aircraft and ground studies, gave scientists highly detailed information that helped them distinguish natural environmental changes from those that were the result of human activity. NASA will distribute the Mission to Planet Earth data to the international scientific community so that this essential research is available worldwide to people who are trying to make informed decisions about protecting their environment.

Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) was a joint U.S.-German-Italian project that used a highly sophisticated imaging radar to capture images of Earth that are useful to scientists across a great range of disciplines. The instrument was flown on two flights in 1994. One was on space shuttle Endeavour on mission STS-59 April 9-20, 1994. The second flight was on shuttle Endeavour on STS-68 September 30-October 11, 1994.

Space radar scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and elsewhere continue to process and analyze images yielded by the shuttle flights. To view the most recently released images from the project, see the NASA JPLSIR-C/X-SAR site.