Washington: A Japanese H-IIA rocket with the NASA- Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory onboard, has been launched from the Tanegashima Space Center in Tanegashima, Japan to measure global rain and snow.
"With this launch, we have taken another giant leap in providing the world with an unprecedented picture of our planet`s rain and snow," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, said.
"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," he said.
The GPM Core Observatory will take a major step in improving upon the capabilities of the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM), a joint NASA- JAXA mission launched in 1997 and still in operation.
While TRMM measured precipitation in the tropics, the GPM Core Observatory expands the coverage area from the Arctic Circle to the Antarctic Circle. GPM will also be able to detect light rain and snowfall, a major source of available fresh water in some regions.
To better understand Earth`s weather and climate cycles, the GPM Core Observatory will collect information that unifies and improves data from an international constellation of existing and future satellites by mapping global precipitation every three hours.