NASA and JAXA Launch the GMP Satellite

From the Tanegashima Space Center near the southernmost tip of Japan, NASA and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched a joint mission to study global measurements of rainfall and snowfall abroad JAXA's H-IIA rocket.

The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory is a new NASA built science satellite that will link data from a constellation of current and planned satellites and produce the most precise observations of rain and snow every three hours from anywhere on the globe. The GPM Core Observatory will fly 253 miles (407 kilometers) above Earth in an orbit inclined at 65-degrees to the equator and will begin normal operations in about 60 days after launch. Data will be downlinked through NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System to the agency's Goddard Space Flight Center's Precipitation Processing Center in Greenbelt, Md., where it will be processed and distributed over the Internet.

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