Japan launches hi-tech global rainfall satellite (Update)

Feb 27, 2014
Japan's H-IIA rocket moves to the lauching pad at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima prefecture, Japan's southern island of Kyushu on February 27, 2014

Japan successfully launched its latest rocket on Friday, carrying a hi-tech satellite to monitor global rainfall and help meteorologists forecast big storms, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

The H-IIA rocket blasted off from a southern Japanese island at 3:37 am on Friday (1837 GMT Thursday) as scheduled, with the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) core observatory aboard, JAXA said.

The satellite, jointly developed by Japan and the United States, is designed to collect data from several other satellites in orbit and add that to its own measurements to build up a detailed picture of precipitation around the planet.

Weather forecasters say that with a more detailed and complete map of rain they will be better able to predict extreme events such as typhoons and floods.

On Thursday, Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, who is now aboard the International Space Station along with NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio and Russia's Mikhail Tyurin, told his 74,000 Twitter followers he was hoping for a smooth launch.

"From the ISS, I wish for the success of the launch," he wrote.

Explore further: Orion heat shield analysis work nears conclusion at NASA's Marshall Center

Related Stories

US-Japan satellite to study global rain, snow

Jan 27, 2014

A new satellite built by NASA and its Japanese counterpart is poised to launch next month on a mission to study rain and snow around the world, the US space agency said Monday.

Image: Arcing towards orbit

Nov 08, 2013

In this two-minute exposure, the Soyuz TMA-11M rocket heads from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan towards orbit with Expedition 38 Soyuz Commander Mikhail Tyurin of Roscosmos, Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio ...

Image: Soyuz rocket ready to launch new station crew

Nov 06, 2013

The Soyuz TMA-11M rocket, adorned with the logo of the Sochi Olympic Organizing Committee and other related artwork, is seen in this long exposure photograph, as the service structure arms are raised into ...

Japan in first commercial satellite launch

May 17, 2012

Japan joined the commercial space race Friday after its workhorse rocket put a paid-for South Korean satellite into orbit, pitting the country against Russia and Europe in the competition for customers.

Recommended for you

How comets were assembled

1 hour ago

Rosetta's target "Chury" and other comets observed by space missions show common evidence of layered structures and bi-lobed shapes. With 3D computer simulations Martin Jutzi of PlanetS at the University ...

Dawn spirals closer to Ceres, returns a new view

13 hours ago

A new view of Ceres, taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on May 23, shows finer detail is becoming visible on the dwarf planet. The spacecraft snapped the image at a distance of 3,200 miles (5,100 kilometers) ...

Ariane 5's second launch of 2015

May 28, 2015

An Ariane 5 lifted off last night from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana and delivered two telecom satellites into their planned orbits.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.