Watch the deployment in orbit of the brand new SWOT satellite


Two cameras on board the SWOT (Surface Water and Ocean Topography) satellite captured over four days the deployment of the antenna panels of the main scientific instrument of the ship.

the masts, deploying from opposite sides of the spacecraftcan be seen extending out of the spacecraft and locking into place, but the cameras stopped short of capturing the antennae at the ends of the fully deployed masts (a milestone the team confirmed with telemetry data). In this video the two cameras are seen side by side.

The two antennas, located 10 meters apart, belong to the innovative Ka-Band Radar Interferometer (KaRIn) instrument, which will measure the height of water in more than 90% of the Earth’s surface and will provide for the first time a high-definition survey of our planet’s water.

Launched from Vandenberg Space Base in central California on December 16, 2022, SWOT is a collaboration between NASA and the French space agency Center National d’Etudes Spatiales, with contributions from the Canadian Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. from United Kingdom.

The mission used two customized commercial cameras aboard the satellite (the same type as those used to capture NASA’s Perseverance rover landing on Mars) to capture the antenna deployment process.