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SpaceX to launch SWOT satellite from Vandenberg Space Force Base

Posted at 3:57 PM, Dec 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-15 21:44:17-05

UPDATE (Dec. 15, 6:40 p.m.) - NASA says its SWOT mission is still on track for launch early Friday morning.

The ten-minute launch window is scheduled to open at 3:46 a.m. on Dec. 16.

Live coverage will begin on NASA TV starting at 3 a.m.


UPDATE (Dec. 14, 8:32 p.m.) - SpaceX has delayed a launch scheduled at Vandenberg Space Force Base after an inspection identified moisture in the rocket's engine.

The Falcon 9 rocket was on the launch pad when teams identified moisture in two of the engines of the rocket's first-stage booster.

There is no reported damage to the SWOT satellite.

NASA officials say they are now targeting a Friday, December 16 launch date at 3:46 a.m.

(Dec. 14, 3:57 p.m.) - An international satellite that will study the Earth's oceans, rivers, and lakes is scheduled to be launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket early Thursday morning at Vandenberg Space Force Base.

The launch is scheduled to take place at 3:46 a.m. Live coverage of the launch will begin at 3 a.m. at

Approximately eight minutes after liftoff, SpaceX will aim to land the rocket's booster back on land at Vandenberg. Base officials say this will create a sonic boom that may be heard across the Central Coast.

According to NASA, the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission will help scientists track how fresh and saltwater bodies change over time as well as how oceans affect global temperatures and climate change.

NASA says the observations will help improve flood forecasts, predictions for sea level rise, and the models used to monitor droughts.

The SWOT mission is a collaboration between NASA and the French space agency Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES) with contributions from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the UK Space Agency.