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 liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen tanks of the H-IIA launch vehicle first and second stages have been fully loaded. Checks of the radio frequency system between the H-IIA and ground stations have been completed.
Solar array deployment begins. GPM has two arrays to power the spacecraft because of its orbit. It circles the Earth at an angle slanted 65 degrees up from the equator. This means it does not cross the equator at the same time every day – an advantage for monitoring rainfall at different times of day and night.
A second scheduled test of the guidance and control system on the H-IIA launch vehicle has been completed to confirm that all devices for flight attitude control are working as expected. NASA Television has begun coverage of the GPM Core Observatory launch originating from Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Watch online at: http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv
The GPM Core Observatory has received a green light for launch! On the morning of Feb. 26 (Japan time) at Tanegashima Space Center, chief officers from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NASA reviewed the readiness of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory for launch on an H-IIA rocket on Feb. 28 (Japan time). All launch vehicle and launch facility actions relevant to the GPM launch were reported complete. The review panel...
Launch services provider Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) performed checks on the propulsion and electrical systems on the H-IIA rocket that will carry the GPM Core Observatory into space.
On Tuesday, Feb. 25 (Japan time) at the Tanegashima Space Center, Japan, pyrotechnics were connected on the H-IIA launch vehicle that will carry the NASA-JAXA Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory into space. In addition, the attitude control system that will control the second stage of the launch vehicle was fueled.
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.vThe 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...
The Mitsubishi Heavy Industries team finished installing the GPM mission’s Core Observatory into the fairing. The main installation occurred on Feb. 13, and all final activities and checks concluded on Feb. 16. The fairing is the top part of the rocket that will protect the spacecraft during launch. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries moved the fairing containing the GPM Core Observatory to the vehicle assembly building on Feb. 18 at Tanegashima Space Center. Inside the vehicle...
On Feb. 11, the Core Observatory was moved into the spacecraft fairing assembly building and into the Encapsulation Hall. Final inspections and preparations were completed for the installation into the fairing, which began on Feb 13. The fairing is the part of the rocket that will contain the spacecraft at the top of the H-IIA rocket.
The Global Precipitation Measurement mission propulsion team completed fueling the Core Observatory spacecraft on Feb. 6 in the spacecraft and fairing assembly building at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Tanegashima Space Center, Japan. Afterward the propulsion team did leak checks. GPM's fuel is hydrazine, which will power GPM's 12 thrusters that are used to maneuver the spacecraft so that it first enters then maintains its final orbit 253 miles (407 km) above Earth's...