Oceanographic satellite SWOT is preparing for launch

The American-French SWOT satellite, designed to track changes in the rivers and oceans of the Earth, is preparing for launch. Its launch was delayed due to transport problems related to the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Oceanographic satellite SWOT. Source: Thales Alenia Space

Satellite for ocean exploration

Thales Alenia Space, the main developer of the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite, announced on September 6 that it was finishing preparations for its transportation to the launch site. This device is a common French-American project with the participation of the Canadian Space Agency. Therefore, it was built in Europe, and it will be launched with a Falcon 9 rocket from an airbase Vandenberg.

SWOT is designed to study the hydrosphere of our planet. It is equipped with a synthesized aperture radar, similar to the one that Serhiy Prytula recently bought for Ukraine. It also has an altimeter and a number of other devices.

All this allows SWOT to track ocean currents and how they change as a result of climate change. In addition, scientists plan to monitor the processes occurring in the rivers and lakes of the Earth as a result of human activity.

Difficulties with SWOT transportation

There were some problems with the launch of the satellite. It weighs about two tons. Therefore, it was planned to take it across the Atlantic Ocean on the Antonov Design Bureau plane. But because of the Russian-Ukrainian war, the global space industry is not fully provided by them. Therefore, many companies are now considering sea transportation routes for their heavy spacecraft.

The same method was offered for SWOT. But it was associated with significant losses of money and time. Therefore, finally, the American military offered a way out. Especially for the transportation of the satellite, they prepared a C-5 aircraft. An agreement on this will be signed very soon.

According to spacenews.com

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