Core Observatory Enters TVAC Chamber

(ambient audio only)

On Tuesday Nov. 13, 2012, the GPM observatory 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 test chamber.

On Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission Core Observatory began thermal vacuum testing at NASA's Goddard Space flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Thermal vacuum testing is part of GPM's environmental test program to ensure that the satellite is ready for the harsh conditions of space. 

GPM Core being lifted by a craneCrane lifting the GPM Core Observatory into position for TVAC testing.

The air inside the chamber will be pumped out when testing begins to simulate the vacuum of space, and the temperatures will be lowered to -10 degrees C (14˚F) and raised to above 40 degrees C (104˚F) to simulate the range of temperatures the spacecraft will encounter as it orbits Earth. Testing will continue into early January, 2013.

Engineers moving the GPM Core into the TVAC chamberEngineers guiding the GPM Core Observatory into the TVAC chamber.