NASA Surface Water and Ocean Topography SWOT Satellite Unfolding
NASA’s Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite successfully launched into Earth orbit on December 16th, 2022 and captured itself unfolding its large mast as well as antenna panels after deploying the solar panel arrays. Mission control uses telemetry data to monitor and control the satellite, while four commercial cameras record all of the action.

It took the satellite four days to deploy the antennas and two of its cameras focused in on them to capture the mast extending out from the spacecraft before locking into place. These two antennas are a part of the Ka-band Radar Interferometer (KaRIn) instrument that is designed to capture precise measurements of the height of water in Earth’s freshwater bodies and the ocean.

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The data SWOT provides will help researchers and decision-makers address some of the most pressing climate questions of our time and help communities prepare for a warming world,” said NASA.


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