GPM Undergoes Final Functional Tests

Preparations for the launch of the NASA-JAXA Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory continue on schedule at Tanegashima Space Center, Japan. Launch is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 27 U.S. time / Friday, Feb. 28 Japan time.

The Core Observatory is now encapsulated in the fairing and installed on the second stage of the H-IIA rocket in the Vehicle Assembly Building. On Feb. 19 and 20 (JST), the Core Observatory and the launch vehicle underwent the final functional test for two days. This test included power on/off operation of the launch vehicle and the spacecraft as well as checkout of the fairing and spacecraft separation mechanisms.

The GPM mission is the first coordinated international satellite constellation to provide near real-time observations of rain and snowfall around the globe. The Core Observatory anchors this network by providing observations of all types of precipitation. The observatory's data acts as the measuring stick by which observations by partner satellites can be combined into a unified data set. The data will be used to study climate change, freshwater resources, and natural hazards such as floods, droughts, and hurricanes.