To Survey the Water on Earth, NASA Conducts a New Mission

To Survey the Water on Earth, NASA Conducts a New Mission

On Friday, NASA launched the most recent Earth science satellite to monitor almost all of the water on the planet’s surface.

At 3:46 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on Friday, the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) spacecraft was launched from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Space Force Base in western California.

According to NASA, the satellite will measure the height of water in freshwater bodies of water and the ocean on more than 90% of the surface of the Earth.

According to NASA, this knowledge will shed light on how the ocean affects climate change, how a warming planet affects lakes, rivers, and reservoirs, and how communities may better brace themselves for disasters like floods.

Ground controllers gathered SWOT’s signal after it disengaged from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket’s second stage. According to NASA, SWOT will go through a number of inspections and calibrations before it begins gathering scientific data in around six months.

SWOT is the first satellite mission that will observe almost all of the water on the Earth’s surface, according to NASA. It was jointly developed by NASA and the French space agency Centre National D’Etudes Spatiales with assistance from the Canadian Space Agency and the United Kingdom Space Agency.