STS059-209-081 (9-20 April 1994) --- Lake Balkhash, in eastern Kazakhstan, is some 300 miles long. The lake, frozen in this scene, thawed noticeably during the mission. The shape of the lake is controlled by the delta of the Ili River, which flows from the Tien Shan Mountains in western China across this arid steppe. SRL scientists will use radar data to study the microwave effects of differences in soil moisture, and in freezing or thawing, on the deltaic sediments. Hasselblad camera.