NASA To Launch Powerful Global Water Survey Satellite

NASA To Launch Powerful Global Water Survey Satellite

December 23, 2022

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying NASA’s powerful water-monitoring satellite will lift off from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on Friday.

NASA, the French space agency Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES), and SpaceX have scheduled 6:46 a.m. EST for launch from Space Launch Complex 4 East, the U.S. space agency said.

Meteorologists with the U.S. Space Force’s Space Launch Delta 30 Weather Squadron are predicting a 100 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for launch, with no primary weather concerns.

Teams held a delta launch readiness review Thursday to evaluate data collected on two of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket engines and determined the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission is a “go” for launch.

Designed to make the first-ever global survey of Earth’s surface water, the SWOT satellite will collect high-definition measurements of how water bodies on Earth change over time using advanced microwave radar technology. The satellite will survey at least 90 percent of the globe, studying Earth’s major lakes, rivers, wetlands, reservoirs, and the ocean at least once every 21 days to improve ocean circulation models, and weather and climate predictions, and to aid in freshwater management around the world.

The data gathered by SWOT will help researchers better understand the availability of Earth’s freshwater resources, track regional sea level changes and monitor coastal processes.

One of 15 missions listed in the 2007 National Research Council Decadal Survey as missions that NASA should implement in the coming decade, SWOT has been jointly developed and managed by NASA and the French space agency Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES), with contributions from the Canadian Space Agency and UK Space Agency.

The advanced radar SWOT satellite was designed and built at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

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