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 Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System for commands from the ground, data and health and safety information from the satellite.
The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory, a joint Earth-observing mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), thundered into space atop a Japanese H-IIA rocket from Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan at 1:37 p.m. EST Thursday, Feb. 27 (3:37 a.m. JST Friday, Feb. 28).
"With this launch, we have taken another giant leap in providing the world with an unprecedented picture of our planet's rain and snow," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. "GPM will help us better understand our ever-changing climate, improve forecasts of extreme weather events like floods, and assist decision makers around the world to better manage water resources."
The GPM Core Observatory is the first of NASA's five Earth science missions launching this year. With a fleet of satellites and ambitious airborne and ground-based observation campaigns, NASA monitors Earth's vital signs from land, air and space.