S09-32-1172 (100 mm)
Flight STS-9; 29.5N, 122E, 28 Nov 1983
Orbiting tail-down over the China coast during the first Spacelab flight, the commander and pilot of the Columbia observed the bright blue Nimrod Bay standing out amid the brown, muddy waters and plains that surround the rugged coastline. Surveyed by HMS Nimrod in 1852, the embayment is one of the few in Xiang Shau Gano into which no rivers carry mud from the hinterlands. As a result, sediment coming in from the sea on the rising tide settles quickly, leaving relatively clear blue water that then protrudes seaward on the falling tide. This was the case as the Columbia passed over.
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