Published: December 9, 2022

Earth’s 370 quintillion gallons of water can be found all over the planet in lakes, rivers, glaciers, oceans, and groundwater. However, only a tiny fraction of this water is usable by humans. Understanding Earth’s ‘water budget’ – where these different forms of water exist and how they move – is an important part of understanding our planet and planning for future water needs. NASA has a fleet of satellites to help us bring Earth’s water budget into focus, including upcoming missions like SWOT (Surface Water and Ocean Topography).

SWOT is scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base in central California no earlier than December 2022.

SWOT is a collaboration between NASA and the French space agency Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), with contributions from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and UK Space Agency.

To learn more about the mission, visit:

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech