Over two-thirds of Earth’s surface is covered by water. Or, to be more precise: 71%. Since no living organism would be able to survive without water, it would be a good idea for scientists to study this substance even more. That’s perhaps what the guys from NASA had in mind when they decided to launch the new Swot satellite.
The Guardian brings the news about the new satellite mission of NASA, and the launch will take place tomorrow, December 15, from the Vandenberg US space force base, which is located about 170 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The ‘Swot’ moniker stands for “surface water and ocean topography,” and the initiative is part of a major Earth science project to learn more about the waters that exist on the surface of our world, whether we’re talking about oceans, lakes, or rivers.
A Falcon 9 rocket of SpaceX will carry Swot into space
Elon Musk’s SpaceX company will also play a major role in the mission, as it will provide a Falcon 9 rocket in order to take the Swot satellite into space.
Katherine Calvin, the chief scientist and senior climate advisor of NASA, explained as Space.com quotes:
Some of that carbon goes into the ocean, some goes onto land absorbed by trees, other [carbon] stays in the atmosphere,
As it [Earth] gets warmer, the oceans are absorbing a lot of that heat. So a better understanding that mixing process of the ocean will help us understand how much more heat and carbon we can uptake. That’s really important for understanding future climate change, and how activities by humans influence future climate change.
The new Swot satellite is not big at all, as it’s just about the size of a car. It also uses advanced microwave radar technology that’s able to collect height-surface measurements of the Earth’s surface waters in high-definition detail.