Engineering the GPM Core Observatory
For the past three years, the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory has gone from components and assembly drawings to a fully functioning satellite at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The satellite has now arrived in Japan, where it will lift off in early 2014.
The journey to the launch pad has been a long and painstaking process. It began with the most basic assembly of the satellite's frame and electrical system, continued through the integration of its two science instruments, and has now culminated in the completion of a dizzying array of environmental tests to check and recheck that GPM Core Observatory will survive its new home in orbit.