A new generation of weather satellite is scheduled to launch this year.
The Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory (GPM) satellite will "provide advanced observations of rain and snowfall worldwide, several times a day to enhance our understanding of the water and energy cycles that drive Earth's climate. The data provided by the Core Observatory will be used to calibrate precipitation measurements made by an international network of partner satellites to quantify when, where, and how much it rains or snows around the world" according to NASA.
NASA partnered with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for the mission.
The GPM satellite builds on a similar mission launched in 1997.
NASA says "The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) measures moderate and heavy rainfall in the tropics. TRMM has shown the importance of taking measurements at different times of day to improve observations of weather systems and real-time monitoring of hurricanes. The GPM Core Observatory will continue this sampling strategy, but will extend the observations to higher latitudes, covering the globe from the Antarctic Circle to the Arctic Circle."
The satellite launch window is scheduled for February 27th between 11:07 AM and 1:07 PM (Arizona time).
The launch will take place from JAXA's Tanegashima Space Center, which is located on one of the Japanese islands in the Pacific.
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