While we wait for that second stage engine to restart, take a look at a few fun facts about today’s Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission:
- SWOT is the fourth Launch Services Program (LSP) science mission to launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on a SpaceX Falcon 9
- SWOT is LSP’s 101st primary mission
- SWOT is the third LSP mission to fly a previously flown Falcon 9 booster
- The satellite can see lakes down to 250 meters by 250 meters (approximately 820 feet by 820 feet) – about the size of three New York City blocks
- This will be the sixth overall LSP science mission to fly on a Falcon 9 (previous missions include Jason 3, Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite [TESS], Double Asteroid Redirection Test [DART], and Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer [IXPE])
- SWOT will observe the entire length of nearly all rivers wider than 100 meters (330 feet)
Stay with us here on the blog as we take you through some of the last major flight milestones, including spacecraft separation and signal acquisition.