NASA selects launch services for global surface water survey mission

November 23, 2016, NASA
Artist's rendering of the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) spacecraft. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA has selected Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, California, to provide launch services for the agency's Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission. Launch is targeted for April 2021 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The total cost for NASA to launch SWOT is approximately $112 million, which includes the ; spacecraft processing; payload integration; and tracking, data and telemetry support.

Designed to make the first-ever global survey of Earth's , in addition to high-resolution ocean measurements, the SWOT mission will collect detailed measurements of how water bodies on Earth change over time. The satellite will survey at least 90 percent of the globe, studying Earth's lakes, rivers, reservoirs and oceans, at least twice every 21 days; aid in freshwater management around the world; and improve ocean circulation models and weather and climate predictions. The SWOT spacecraft will be jointly developed and managed by NASA and the French space agency Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES).

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