NASA’s Surface Water Satellite to Launch Thursday, Dec. 15

The Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) spacecraft is moved into a transport container inside the Astrotech facility at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on Nov. 18, 2022. Photo credit: USSF 30th Space Wing/Chris Okula

NASA, the French space agency Centre National d’Études Spatiales, and SpaceX are now targeting 3:46 a.m. PST Thursday, Dec.15, for the launch of the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite. The new date allows for additional time to complete prelaunch processing and checkouts of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

SWOT will be NASA’s first global survey of nearly all water on Earth’s surface. Scientists plan to use its observations to better understand the global water cycle, furnish insight into the ocean’s role in how climate change unfolds, and provide a global inventory of water resources.

The SWOT mission is a collaborative effort between NASA and the French space agency with contributions from the Canadian Space Agency and the UK Space Agency.

SWOT will launch from Space Launch Complex-4 East at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.