A NASA satellite carrying instrumentation built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. was successfully launched today on schedule from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan.
The Ball Aerospace contribution to the mission, carried into space by a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries H-IIA launch vehicle, is called a Global Precipitation Measurement Microwave Imager, a multi-channel conical-scanning microwave radiometer.
The instrument will fly aboard the GPM Core Observatory satellite, along with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's dual-frequency precipitation radar instrument. The Ball precipitation measurement instrument's task is to capture precipitation intensities and horizontal patterns, while the Japanese instrument provides insights into the three-dimensional structure of rain, snow and other precipitation particles.
The satellite will offer unprecedented three-dimensional views of hurricanes and snowstorms, and enhance the ability to monitor and forecast events including droughts, floods and landslides.
The satellite lifted off at 11:37 a.m. MDT.