NASA launches international mission ‘SWOT’ to survey Earth’s water
The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the French space agency Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) have jointly launched the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission to track nearly all the water on Earth’s surface.
The SWOT mission was launched through a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Space Launch Complex at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, United States of America on 16 December 2022. The mission has a lifespan of three years.
Feature of the Mission
- According to NASA SWOT will cover the entire Earth’s surface between 78 degrees south and 78 degrees north latitude at least once every 21 days.
- It will provide data on more than 95 per cent of the world’s lakes larger than 15 acres (62,500 square meters) and rivers wider than 330 feet (100 meters) across.
- Currently, freshwater researchers have reliable measurements for only a few thousand lakes around the world.
- The satellite will measure the height of water in freshwater bodies and the ocean on more than 90 per cent 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 prepare for disasters, such as floods.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
It is an American government’s premier space agency which was set up in 1958 to promote research and development in the exploration of outer space and Earth’s atmosphere.
NASA mainly launches its rockets from its two primary spaceports. One is John F. Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island in Florida, United States and from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, United States of America.
Headquarters of NASA: Washington D.C
Administrator of NASA: Bill Nelson
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