Launch of NASA & JAXA’s GPM Core Satellite on Japanese Rocket

A  Japanese H-IIA rocket carrying the NASA-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory blasted off from launch pad 1 at the Tanegashima Space Center at 1:37 p.m. EST on Thursday, Feb. 27 . The rocket carried the Global Precipitation Measurement Core satellite into orbit for NASA & Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). GPM Core is the first of a constellation of satellites which will keep an eye on the Earth’s rain and snowfall for forecasting into the future.

GPM is an international satellite mission to provide next-generation observations of rain and snow worldwide every three hours. The GPM Core Observatory satellite carries advanced instruments that will set a new standard for precipitation measurements from space. The data they provide will be used to unify precipitation measurements made by an international network of partner satellites to quantify when, where, and how much it rains or snows around the world.

The GPM mission will help advance our understanding of Earth’s water and energy cycles, improve the forecasting of extreme events that cause natural disasters, and extend current capabilities of using satellite precipitation information to directly benefit society.

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