Sao Simao Reservoir, Brazil (NASA, International Space Station Science, 11/22/07)
Sao Simao Reservoir, Brazil is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 16 crewmember on the International Space Station (ISS). The Sao Simao reservoir, near the confluence of the Rio Paranaiba and Rio Verde in Brazil, is the featured subject in a milestone image of Earth. This colorful, patchwork image is the 300,000th image of Earth downlinked from the space station. There are now over 745,000 images of Earth taken by astronaut crews, beginning with the Mercury missions in 1961 and continuing to the present day on the ISS. The Sao Simao reservoir is located on the border between the states of Goias and Minas Gerais (near the geographic coordinates of 18.7S 50.4W). Though the town of Sao Simao was founded around 1935, major growth occurred when the hydroelectric power plant and dam were built - forming the reservoir -- in 1975. The reservoir is part of a major navigation link that allows transport of goods and commerce between central Brazil, the Prata River and the South Atlantic. With 600,000 square kilometers of surface area, the reservoir also serves as a tourist destination for fishing, swimming and boating. In addition to hydroelectric power production, the economy of the region is based in agribusiness. The image highlights agricultural fields of various kinds and in different stages of cultivation. The major commodities include corn, soybeans, sesame seeds, sugarcane, beans, manioc, coffee and meat production.