Mission Status

March 2015

The GPM Core Observatory successfully launched from Tanegashima Space Center, Japan, on February 27th, 2014 at 1:37pm EST. It is currently in orbit, and data from the mission is available for the public to download from a variety of sources and formats which are outlined on the PMM Data Access page.

Mission Updates

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission Core Observatory is performing normally. Today, the GPM Microwave Imager (GMI) instrument started to spin at its normal rate and collect science data on rain and snowfall. The GMI instrument is a multi-channel microwave radiometer that uses 13 channels to measure the intensity of the microwave energy emitted from Earth's surface and atmosphere. GMI will detect total precipitation within all layers of clouds, including snow and ice, and rain from...
Today, the Global Precipitation Measurement mission Core Observatory successfully fired its thrusters for five seconds to check out the thruster performance. This type of maneuver, called a delta-V, changes the velocity of the spacecraft to adjust the altitude of its orbit. Today's delta-V resulted in only a very slight change in the orbit, but will help the GPM team assess and calibrate the thruster performance. By contrast, yesterday the team pulsed each maneuvering thruster 3-6 times,...
Following yesterday’s activities with the two science instruments associated with the Global Precipitation Measurement core observatory, the flight control team’s attention today is focused on the observatory’s onboard maneuvering thrusters. The satellite has a dozen thrusters: four forward and eight aft. The flight team is activating and initializing the thrusters over the course of today. A brief (5 second) propulsion burn to further calibrate the thrusters is planned...
Following activation and warm up of the Global Precipitation Measurement Microwave Imager (GMI) electronic systems, the team at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., deployed the main reflector of the U.S. science instrument for the GPM Core Observatory. A significant step was also achieved today in the activation of the science instrument provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) with the turning on of the controller for the Dual-Frequency Precipitation...
Friday evening, GPM flight controllers at NASA Goddard began using the satellite’s High Gain Antenna system for high-rate data rate transmissions through NASA’s orbiting fleet of Tracking Data Relay Satellites. Having high-rate data flowing through the TDRS system allows the spacecraft recorder to be downloaded more frequently. During science operations, TDRS communication will allow availability of science data within 3 hours of measurement. Just after 11 a.m. EST on Saturday,...
The GPM Core Observatory continues power positive, stable on the sun line and communicating with the GPM Mission Operations Center at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The spacecraft magnetic torquer bar polarity was adjusted to eliminate rotational momentum gain. Star trackers were turned on and the High Gain Antenna was successfully deployed. Within the next day or two, the spacecraft controllers at NASA Goddard will begin to use the antenna to communicate with...
The GPS system has been switched on. This tells the satellite the time and its location with respect to the Earth's surface. The team is readying the spacecraft to use its High Gain Antenna for high data-rate communication through the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System. 
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...
The Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory is continuing to move successfully toward launch. Programs have been run on the guidance and control system on the H-IIA launch vehicle to confirm that all devices for flight attitude control are working as expected. The one-hour launch window for the GPM Core Observatory opens at Feb. 27 at 1:37 p.m. EST (Feb. 28 at 3:37 a.m. JST).
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We have spacecraft separation! The GPM Core Observatory is flying on its own in orbit. The bolts holding it to the second stage successfully severed and the second stage has separated. The GPM spacecraft is flying on battery power until its two solar arrays deploy shortly.

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