GPM Launch Information
Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
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Launch Date and Time: 1:37 p.m. EST, Feb. 27, 2014 (3:37 a.m. JST, Feb. 28, 2014)
Launch Vehicle: HII-A Rocket
Launch Site: Tanegashima Space Center, Japan
NASA and JAXA Launch New Satellite to Measure Global Rain and Snow
The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory, a joint Earth-observing mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), thundered into space at 1:37 p.m. EST Thursday, Feb. 27 (3:37 a.m. JST Friday, Feb. 28) from Japan.
The four-ton spacecraft launched aboard a Japanese H-IIA rocket from Tanegashima Space Center on Tanegashima Island in southern Japan. The GPM spacecraft separated from the rocket 16 minutes after launch, at an altitude of 247 miles (398 kilometers). The solar arrays deployed 10 minutes after spacecraft separation, to power the spacecraft.
"With this launch, we have taken another giant leap in providing the world with an unprecedented picture of our planet's rain and snow," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. "GPM will help us better understand our ever-changing climate, improve forecasts of extreme weather events like floods, and assist decision makers around the world to better manage water resources."