The satellite built by NASA and the French space agency Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES) will observe almost all of the world’s oceans, lakes and rivers
A satellite, jointly built by the United States and France, to map the water resources on our planet was launched into orbit on Friday from a space station in California.
The satellite built by NASA and the French space agency Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES) will observe almost all of the world’s oceans, lakes and rivers.
“It is a pivotal moment, and I’m very excited about it,” NASA program scientist Nadya Vinogradova-Shiffer, said. “We’re going to see Earth’s water like we’ve never before.”
The Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite is expected to provide key insights into the impact of climate change and extreme weather impacts on the breadth and vulnerability of water resources on the planet.
According to NASA, the satellite will be covering more than 90 per cent of earth’s surface where it will measure the height of water. Gathering such information holds great value in allowing scientists to track the flow and identify potential high-risk areas. The satellite will also survey millions of lakes as well as 1.3 million miles (2.1 million kilometers) of rivers.
The satellite project, which cost US and France $1.2 billion, is another addition to NASA’s current fleet of nearly 30 satellites observing the planet.