Following the Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory's arrival at the Tangashema Space Center in Japan, efforts by the NASA and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency team will now focus on final checkouts and preparation for launch in early 2014.
After the satellite was removed from its transportation container, the NASA team conducted preliminary inspections and found everything to be in very good shape. None of the systems that monitored the satellite's condition during the move from NASA Goddard to Japan showed any thing outside of normal levels. This means there will be no need to re-test the deployable parts of the observatory.
This month, the number of NASA personnel at the Japanese launch site will increase from the normal staff of 50 to approximately 80-90 in order to allow 24/7 operations during Comprehensive Performance Test (CPT). This activity involves engineers making final preparations to the satellite and verifying that all the elements of the observatory are ready to support mission objectives.
Pre-CPT work this week included testing of both the flight and spare batteries. The spare batteries have been moved into storage and flight ones are now installed on the observatory.
Formal CPT activity is scheduled to begin on next Monday, Dec. 9, 2013 and all scheduled work should be completed in plenty of time for the NASA group to return home for Christmas.
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