GPM Power Positive, Stable, and Communicating
The GPM spacecraft is power positive, stable on the sun line and communicating with the GPM Mission Operations Center (MOC) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
The GPM flight control teams at NASA Goddard are studying a situation with the spacecraft where the satellite is gaining a small amount of rotational momentum. In a normal state, there are environmental forces on the spacecraft that are corrected by the momentum wheels and magnetic torquer bars. At this time, the momentum wheels are being used more than expected. This situation does not pose any threat to the health of the mission/spacecraft in the short term, but it must be corrected.
Deploying the high gain antenna (HGA) would increase the environmental forces, so the deployment is being deferred until the momentum gain is understood and corrected. Delaying an HGA deployment is not an unusual situation for a satellite that is in the early portion of flight and checkout.
Personnel in the GPM Mission Operations Center (MOC) and the Launch Support Room (LSR) at NASA Goddard are working on software table updates to the satellite to resolve the momentum issue.
The next update on the flight and checkout of the GPM Core Observatory will come on Friday, Feb. 28 (US time) as part of the status reports that will be issued daily for the first week of the mission.