NASA launches revolutionary satellite to monitor Earth's water • Earth.com

NASA launches revolutionary satellite to monitor Earth's water

01-16-2023

Today’s Video of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite, which was launched on December 16, 2022. The SWOT mission is designed to survey Earth’s surface water. 

“SWOT is an international collaboration, jointly developed by NASA and the Centre National D’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) with contributions from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA),” says NASA.

“The SUV-sized satellite will measure the height of water in freshwater bodies and the ocean on more than 90 percent of Earth’s surface. This information will provide insights into how the ocean influences climate change; how a warming world affects lakes, rivers, and reservoirs; and how communities can better manage freshwater and prepare for disasters, such as floods.”

SWOT will scan the entire surface of our planet between 78 degrees south and 78 degrees north latitude at least once every 21 days. Scientists will receive about one terabyte of data each day. 

“Warming seas, extreme weather, more severe wildfires – these are only some of the consequences humanity is facing due to climate change,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “The climate crisis requires an all-hands-on-deck approach, and SWOT is the realization of a long-standing international partnership that will ultimately better equip communities so that they can face these challenges.”

“We’re eager to see SWOT in action,“ said Karen St. Germain, NASA Earth Science Division director. “This satellite embodies how we are improving life on Earth through science and technological innovations. The data that innovation will provide is essential to better understanding how Earth’s air, water, and ecosystems interact – and how people can thrive on our changing planet.”

Video/ Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Editor

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