SpaceX has been awarded another job by NASA, launch of global surface water survey probe. The probe will be launched in April 2021 mission and will be the first ever global survey of Earth’s surface water. The probe will be launched by the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
SWOT or Surface Water and Ocean Topography mission cost about $112 million, and this includes launch, spacecraft processing, and integration of the payload on the launch vehicle tracking as well as data and telemetry support.
The probe will be tasked with making the global surface water in addition to high-resolution ocean measurement. The mission will also make a detailed analysis of how water bodies on Earth change over time. The spacecraft will survey 90% of the globe, which will envisage studying lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and oceans. This will be repeated twice every 21 days and will aid in the management of freshwater resources more efficiently. It will also help in creating better ocean circulation models and weather and climate forecast.
The SWOT mission is a product of the partnership between NASA and the French space agency Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES).
SpaceX has nine missions on its schedule for NASA, but it has not commenced launching after the catastrophic explosion of a SpaceX rocket during pre-flight checks on a launch pad in September
The Falcon 9 rocket exploded on September 1 at Cape Canaveral, Florida destroying the rocket along with it the $200 million communication satellite which was to play a crucial part in Facebook’s plan to spread the internet to the remote villages in Africa. The accident dealt a severe blow to SpaceX’s plans for the future and was described by CEO, Elon Musk as the most challenging and complex failure in its 14 years of existence.