JAXA

Launch Site at Tanegashima Space Center

Launch Site at Tanegashima Space Center
Image Caption: 
Launch Site at Tanegashima Space Center

The launch pads at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Tanegashima Space Center are seen a week ahead of the planned launch of an H-IIA rocket carrying the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, Tanegashima Island, Japan. The NASA-JAXA GPM spacecraft will collect information that unifies data from an international network of existing and future satellites to map global rainfall and snowfall every three hours. 

GPM Core Observatory Encapsulated

GPM Core Observatory Encapsulated into Rocket Fairing
Credit: NASA / JAXA

On Feb. 11, the Core Observatory was moved into the spacecraft fairing assembly building and into the Encapsulation Hall. Final inspections and preparations were completed for the installation into the fairing, which began on Feb 13. The fairing is the part of the rocket that will contain the spacecraft at the top of the H-IIA rocket.

GPM Core Observatory Encapsulation Process

GPM Core Observatory Encapsulation Process
Image Caption: 
The GPM Core Observatory being encapsulated into the HII-A rocket fairing.

On Feb. 11, the Core Observatory was moved into the spacecraft fairing assembly building and into the Encapsulation Hall. Final inspections and preparations were completed for the installation into the fairing, which began on Feb 13. The fairing is the part of the rocket that will contain the spacecraft at the top of the H-IIA rocket.

GPM Core Observatory Encapsulation Process

GPM Core Observatory Encapsulation Process
Image Caption: 
The GPM Core Observatory being encapsulated into the HII-A rocket fairing.

On Feb. 11, the Core Observatory was moved into the spacecraft fairing assembly building and into the Encapsulation Hall. Final inspections and preparations were completed for the installation into the fairing, which began on Feb 13. The fairing is the part of the rocket that will contain the spacecraft at the top of the H-IIA rocket.

Fairing Attached to HII-A Rocket

The Global Precipitation Measurement Core (GPM) Observatory is scheduled to launch on Feb. 27 (EST) from Tanegashima Space Center, Japan.

The Mitsubishi Heavy Industries team finished installing the GPM mission’s Core Observatory into the fairing. The main installation occurred on Feb. 13, and all final activities and checks concluded on Feb. 16. The fairing is the top part of the rocket that will protect the spacecraft during launch.

GPM Spacecraft Completes Fueling

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission propulsion team completed fueling the Core Observatory spacecraft on Feb. 6 in the spacecraft and fairing assembly building at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Tanegashima Space Center, Japan. Afterward the propulsion team did leak checks.

GPM's fuel is hydrazine, which will power GPM's 12 thrusters that are used to maneuver the spacecraft so that it first enters then maintains its final orbit 253 miles (407 km) above Earth's surface. GPM will carry enough fuel for a minimum of five years of mission life.

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