The GPM Core spacecraft has completed hot and cold thermal balance testing
in the thermal vacuum chamber at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Next it
will undergo hot and cold cycle thermal vacuum testing, where the
temperatures are alternatively raised to 40 degrees C (104šF) and lowered to
-14 degrees C (7šF) over the course of the next few weeks. The air inside
the chamber was pumped out before testing began to simulate the vacuum of
Thermal vacuum testing is part of GPM's environmental test program to ensure
that the satellite is ready for the harsh conditions of space and will
continue into mid-January.
On Tuesday Nov. 13, 2012, the GPM Core Observatory was moved from the clean room to the thermal vacuum chamber. The spacecraft, wrapped in protective blankets, made the short trip by crane across the testing facility where it was then lowered into the 40-foot (12 meter) diameter test chamber.