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Count down to Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission launch!

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The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission is almost ready to leave Earth. This is a joint launch mission between NASA-JAXA that is scheduled to launch on Thursday, February 27, 2014. The window for the launch is between 12 noon and 3 p.m. EST. Japan's H-IIA rocket will transport the GPM satellite from JAXA's Tanegashima Space Center - the largest launch site in Japan into Earth’s orbit.

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The GPM mission is a project that is being added to a international constellation of satellites that currently orbit Earth. GPM Core Observatory will unify precipitation measurements from the existing satellites that represent global coverage of precipitation with increased frequency thus additional sampling of data. GPM is a meaningful project that will enhance meteorological forecasting and environmental science research. It will provide data taken from a swath of the Earth every three hours. Meteorologists will be able to gather data from GPM Core Observatory as well as validate precipitation from other sources. The additional data collecting resource of the GPM promises to improve the accuracy of clarity and thus reporting of global precipitation. Knowing more about global precipitation will provide information that can aid global citizens to be forewarned about weather conditions that alter the quality of life such as drought, flooding, fresh water availability, agriculture, disease, and potential damage to the structure our landmasses.

The GPM components that are important to fulfill its overall purpose are: Microwave Imager (GMI) that will provide data on cloud structure and the type of cloud particles which may be liquid or ice; and the Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) that will provide data about the three dimensional structure and sizes of raindrops or snowflakes. GPM Core Observatory will orbit the Earth at an altitude of 253 miles, which is asynchronous with the sun.

Other international collaborators with satellites that will send information to the NASA GPM Core Observatory include Japan (JAXA), French (CNES), U.S. (NOAA), Indian (ISRO), European (EUMETSAT) and U.S. Air Force (DMSP).

For viewing the launch, tune in to NASA TV. For resource materials for student engagement, visit NASA GPM Launch Party.

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