An international satellite that will set a new standard for global precipitation measurements from space has completed a 7,300-mile journey from the United States to Japan, where it now will undergo launch preparations.
A U.S. Air Force C-5 transport aircraft carrying the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory landed at Kitakyushu Airport, about 600 miles southwest of Tokyo, at approximately 10:30 p.m. EST Saturday, Nov. 23.
The spacecraft, the size of a small private jet, is the largest satellite ever built at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. It left Goddard inside a large shipping container Nov. 19 and began its journey across the Pacific Ocean Nov. 21 from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, with a refueling stop in Anchorage, Alaska.
From Kitakyushu Airport, the spacecraft was loaded onto a barge heading to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA's) Tanegashima Space Center on Tanegashima Island in southern Japan, where it will be prepared for launch in early 2014 on an H-IIA rocket.
GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 184.108.40.206.0