The GPM Core Observatory completed final checks and the team is preparing to install it in the transportation canister that will move it to the spacecraft and fairing assembly building at JAXA’s Tanegashima Space Center, Japan. There, the spacecraft will be fueled next week, followed by installation into the fairing that will contain the spacecraft on the top of the H-IIA rocket.
Watch the GPM L-30 Press Briefing on Youtube:
Part 1: GPM Mission Briefing
Part 2: GPM Science Briefing
A Japanese H-IIA rocket with the NASA-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory onboard, is seen launching from the Tanegashima Space Center, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 (Friday Feb. 28 in Japan). The 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. .
The launch vehicle for the Global Precipitation Measurement, or GPM, mission's Core Observatory arrived at Tanegashima Space Center, Japan, in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday, Jan. 21, local time. The Japanese H-IIA rocket, No. 23, has two stages that arrived by cargo freighter the previous evening. They were then trucked across the island in the middle of the night when no cars were on the road.
The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory had a busy week at Tanegashima Space Center, Japan. The GPM propulsion team did a thorough check of the propulsion system to prepare for fueling the spacecraft later this month.
Pack it up, put it on a plane and fly it to Japan. It sounds simple enough, but a new video from NASA shows when your package is a satellite, it's anything but.
After a holiday break, final tests for the GPM Core Observatory resumed on Dec. 30, 2013, with alignment measurements. The spacecraft's instruments and components, such as star trackers and thrusters, are attached to the main body in specific configurations. Spacecraft alignment measurement is analogous to alignment for the wheels of a car. The Core Observatory measurements ensure that no parts have shifted during its transportation from the United States to Japan, so they will work as expected.