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: US-Japan satellite to study global rain, snow

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

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

Getting to the root of the problem in space

24 minutes ago

When we go to Mars, will astronauts be able to grow enough food there to maintain a healthy diet? Will they be able to produce food in NASA's Orion spacecraft on the year-long trip to Mars? How about growing ...

The difference between CMEs and solar flares

2 hours ago

This is a question we are often asked: what is the difference between a coronal mass ejection (CME) and a solar flare? We discussed it in a recent astrophoto post, but today NASA put out a video with amazing graphics that explain ...

Scientific instruments of Rosetta's Philae lander

2 hours ago

When traveling to far off lands, one packs carefully. What you carry must be comprehensive but not so much that it is a burden. And once you arrive, you must be prepared to do something extraordinary to make ...

How ancient impacts made mining practical

4 hours ago

About 1.85 billion years ago, in what would come to be known as Sudbury Canada, a 10 kilometer wide asteroid struck with such energy that it created an impact crater 250 kilometers wide. Today the chief industry of Sudbury ...

User comments : 0