||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the French Wikipedia. (December 2008)|
|Canton||Istres Nord and Istres Sud|
|• Mayor (2008–2014)||François Bernardini|
|• Land1||113.73 km2 (43.91 sq mi)|
|• Population2 density||370/km2 (970/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||13047 / 13800|
|Elevation||0–120 m (0–394 ft)
(avg. 20 m or 66 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Istres (French pronunciation: [istʁ]) (Occitan: Istre) is a commune in southern France, some 60 km (38 mi) northwest of Marseille. It is in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, in the Bouches-du-Rhône department, of which it is a subprefecture. Its inhabitants are called Istréens and Istréennes.
Istres is adjacent to the étang de Berre lagoon (the largest in Europe) and the étang de l'Olivier lagoon. It is located some 60 km (38 mi) north-west of Marseille, 20 km (13 mi) south-west of Salon-de-Provence, 10 km (6 mi) north of Martigues and 45 km (28 mi) south-east of Arles. Istres is also adjacent to the plaine de la Crau and the Camargue national park.
Istres has a Mediterranean climate characterised by mild, humid winters and hot, dry summers. January and February are the coldest months, averaging temperatures of around 7 °C. July and August are the hottest months. The mean summer temperature is around 24 °C (75 °F) with an average maximum temperature around 32°C. The amount of precipitation is around 566 mm (22 inches) per year. The Mistral, a cold and often violent wind, blows through the city mostly in winter and spring.
Istres is the home of the Le Tubé Air Base (Istres-Le Tubé Air Base or BA 125). This air base was one of 3 utilized by NASA as a contingency landing site for the Space Shuttle in the case of a Transoceanic Abort Landing (TAL). Istres shared this responsibility with Zaragoza, Spain and Moron, Spain.
- "France to assist NASA with the future launches of the Space Shuttle". Retrieved 2009-09-27.
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