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Photos of the Day: NASA Sends Greetings from Minamitane

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 10:58am
NASA

A sign with a model of the Japanese H-IIB rocket welcomes visitors to Minamitane Town on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. Minamitane Town is one of only a few small towns located outside of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Tanegashima Space Center, where the launch of an H-IIA rocket carrying the Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory will take place in the next week. The NASA-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency GPM spacecraft will collect information that unifies data from an international network of existing and future satellites to map global rainfall and snowfall every three hours. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

NASA Goddard's Michael Starobin reports from downtown Minamitane, Japan on the island of Tanegashima where NASA/JAXA's GPM satellite. It's a small, working-class hamlet with all the rhythms of life you'd find in similar towns around the world. Kids hustling to school, people going to work, but Minamitane isn't an ordinary small town. It belongs to an elite club that directly abuts a spaceport. Let's check it out. Located at the southern tip of the island of Tanegashima, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA, sends major payloads off the planet from this launchpad. And later this week, a big one is scheduled to blast off. This is GPM the Global Precipitation Measurement mission. It's a joint effort between NASA and JAXA, and it's already sitting on top a Mitsubishi H-IIA rocket, ready to go. The town clearly sees itself in its off-the-planet legacy, and with a visiting NASA team everywhere on the streets, it's impossible not to think something big is about to happen. Credit: NASA/SVS/Michael Starobin

For more information visit www.nasa.gov/gpm

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