An artist's illustration of SWOT

This illustration shows the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite in orbit with its solar panels and KaRIn instrument antennas deployed. Credit: CNES

The U.S.-European Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission to study our home planet is currently targeting a Dec. 15, 2022 launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base in Central California. The SUV-size satellite will help researchers understand how much water flows into and out of Earth’s freshwater bodies and will provide insight into the ocean’s role in how climate change unfolds.

The measurements from the spacecraft’s science instruments will also help communities monitor and plan for changing water resources as well as the effects of sea level rise. SWOT is a joint mission developed by NASA and the French space agency Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES), with contributions from the Canadian Space Agency and the UK Space Agency.

Read below for ways to participate in the launch.

Be a Part of the Broadcast

We are all connected by water, and we want our launch broadcast to involve people around the globe! Here are two ways you can participate during the live launch broadcast:
  • Ask a question: Have a question about SWOT? Record a video of yourself asking a question, and a mission expert might answer it on air during the show.
  • Show us your connection to water: Share a photo of you or your family near your favorite body of water and answer the question “What does water mean to you?”
Upload videos and photos to social media with the hashtag #TrackingWorldWater (making sure your settings are set to public) by Dec. 5 for a chance to be included in the live launch broadcast.

How to Watch

News briefings and launch commentary will be livestreamed on NASA Television, the agency’s website,,, and the NASA app at (On-demand recordings will also be available after the live events have finished on YouTube.)

Additional Resources on the Web

A web version of this press kit is available at

Find additional information about the mission at

Social Media

Join the conversation! Use the hashtag #TrackingWorldWater to find SWOT content and get updates from these accounts:

Twitter: @NASAEarth, @NASAClimate, @NASAJPL, @NASA_LSP, @NASA

Facebook: NASAEarth, NASA Climate Change, NASAJPL, NASALSP, and NASA

Instagram: @NASAEarth, @NASAClimatechange, @NASAJPL, and @NASA