Franco-US satellite set for unprecedented survey of Earth's waterA Franco-US satellite is due for launch this week on a mission to survey with u...

Franco-US satellite set for unprecedented survey of Earth's waterA Franco-US satellite is due for launch this week on a mission to survey with u...Franco-US satellite set for unprecedented survey of Earth's water
A Franco-US satellite is due for launch this week on a mission to survey with unprecedented accuracy nearly all water on Earth's surface for the first time and help scientists investigate its impact on Earth's climate.


For NASA and France's space agency CNES, which have worked together in the field for 30 years, it's a landmark scientific mission with a billion dollar budget.

French President Emmanuel Macron went to NASA's Washington headquarters at the end of November alongside US Vice President Kamala Harris.

He highlighted the liftoff—scheduled for early Thursday on the US west coast—of the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission to monitor the levels of oceans, lakes and rivers, including in remote locations.

Its predecessor, TOPEX/Poseidon, launched in 1992, was also a Franco-US joint venture that measured ocean surface to an accuracy of 4.2 centimeters (1.7 inches).