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NASA, Japan Prep Weather Satellite for February Launch

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International Space StationNASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency have set a February date to send a weather satellite into space for a mission to map precipitation around the world.

The Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory satellite is scheduled to launch Thursday, Feb. 27, aboard a JAXA H-IIA rocket at the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan between 1:07 p.m. and 3:07 p.m. Eastern time, NASA said Thursday.

According to NASA, the program aims to gather data from the GPM constellation to help scientists calibrate snowflake and raindrop measurements.

“Knowing rain and snow amounts accurately over the whole globe is critical to understanding how weather and climate impact agriculture, fresh water availability and responses to natural disasters,” said Michael Freilich, director of NASA’s earth science division in Washington.

The GPM satellite contains a microwave imager built by Ball Aerospace and Technology and a dual-frequency radar made by JAXA and Tokyo-based National Institute of Information and Communication Technology.

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