Tanegashima Space Center

GPM's Launch Pad

GPM's Launch Pad
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GPM's Launch Pad

Launch pad 1 is seen at the Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC) on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 in Tanegashima, Japan. A Japanese H-IIA rocket carrying the NASA-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory is planned for launch from pad 1 on Feb. 28, 2014. Once launched, the GPM spacecraft will collect information that unifies data from an international network of existing and future satellites to map global rainfall and snowfall every three hours. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Surfing at Tanegashima Space Center

Surfing at Tanegashima Space Center
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Surfing at Tanegashima Space Center

A surfer navigates the waters in front of the Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC) launch pads on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014, Tanegashima Island, Japan. A Japanese H-IIA rocket carrying the NASA-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory is planned for launch from the space center on Feb. 28, 2014. Once launched, the GPM spacecraft will collect information that unifies data from an international network of existing and future satellites to map global rainfall and snowfall every three hours. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

GPM's Last Stop Before Orbit

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Art Azarbarzin, NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement mission project manager, and Mashahiro Kojima, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's GPM/DPR project manager, reflect on the long journey the GPM Core Observatory spacecraft has taken to reach its last stop before orbit, the Tanegashima Space Center, Japan, from where the mission's Core Observatory is scheduled to launch on the afternoon of Feb. 27, 2014 (EST).

GPM Flags Welcome Visitors to Minamitame Town.

GPM Flags Welcome Visitors to Minamitame Town.
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GPM Flags Welcome Visitors to Minamitame Town.

A roadside flag welcomes the NASA team and visitors to Minamitame Town, one of only a few small towns located outside of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC), where the launch of an H-IIA rocket carrying the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory will take place in the next week, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, Tanegashima Island, Japan.

GPM Launches at 1:37pm EST 2/27/14

GPM Liftoff

A Japanese H-IIA rocket with the NASA-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory onboard, is seen launching from the Tanegashima Space Center, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 (Friday Feb. 28 in Japan). The GPM spacecraft will collect information that unifies data from an international network of existing and future satellites to map global rainfall and snowfall every three hours. .

GPM's Launch Vehicle Arrives at Tanegashima Space Center

The launch vehicle for the Global Precipitation Measurement, or GPM, mission's Core Observatory arrived at Tanegashima Space Center, Japan, in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday, Jan. 21, local time. The Japanese H-IIA rocket, No. 23, has two stages that arrived by cargo freighter the previous evening. They were then trucked across the island in the middle of the night when no cars were on the road.

GPM Completes Spacecraft Alignments

GPM Completes Spacecraft Alignments

After a holiday break, final tests for the GPM Core Observatory resumed on Dec. 30, 2013, with alignment measurements. The spacecraft's instruments and components, such as star trackers and thrusters, are attached to the main body in specific configurations. Spacecraft alignment measurement is analogous to alignment for the wheels of a car. The Core Observatory measurements ensure that no parts have shifted during its transportation from the United States to Japan, so they will work as expected.

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