NASA: New topography satellite masts unfurl successfully
NASA said on Wednesday that the large mast and antenna panels on its new Surface Water and Ocean Topography satellite successfully unfurled last week over a four-day process.
The satellite, also known as SWOT, was designed to capture precise measurements of the height of water in Earth’s freshwater bodies and the ocean. It will also collect data on lakes and reservoirs larger than 15 acres and rivers wider than 330 feet across.
Two cameras aboard the satellite captured the mast and antenna panels being deployed. The masts unfolded from opposite sides of the spacecraft but the cameras stopped short of capturing the antennas at the ends of the masts being fully deployed.
NASA was able to confirm that task with telemetry data.
The satellite was jointly developed by NASA and the French space agency Centre National d’Études Spatiales, CNES, with contributions from the Canadian Space Agency and the British Space Agency.
A SpaceX 9 rocket blasted the satellite into space earlier this month.
“Once in orbit, SWOT will measure the height of water in freshwater bodies and the ocean on more than 90% of Earth’s surface,” NASA officials said earlier.
“This information will provide insights into how the ocean influences climate change; how a warming world affects lakes, rivers and reservoirs; and how communities can better prepare for disasters, such as floods.”
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China launches new Earth observation satellite
Beijing (XNA) Dec 29, 2022
China launched the Gaofen 11-04 Earth-observation satellite on Tuesday afternoon, according to China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp.
The satellite was lifted into orbit on a Long March 4B carrier rocket that blasted off at 3:37 pm from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Shanxi province, the State-owned space contractor said in a news release.
Developed by the China Academy of Space Technology, a CASC subsidiary in Beijing, the satellite is tasked with providing images and data to … read more