NASA will extend operation of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) through the end of 2004, in light of a recent request from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The extension, to be undertaken jointly with NASA’s TRMM partner, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), will provide data during another storm season in the U.S. and Asia.
TRMM has yielded significant scientific research data over the last seven years to users around the globe. In addition, TRMM data has aided NOAA, other government agencies, and other users in their operational work of monitoring and predicting rainfall and storms, as well as in storm research. Launched in 1997, TRMM was originally designed as a three-year research mission. Following four years of extending TRMM, NASA and JAXA recently announced a decision to decommission TRMM, and proceed with a safe, controlled deorbit. Options for safe re-entry become increasingly limited the longer TRMM is operated, as it is already more than 3 years beyond design life.
"NASA is committed to working with our partner agencies to help them carry out their mission. We have decided to extend TRMM through this year’s hurricane season in our effort to aid NOAA in capturing another full season of storm data," said Dr. Ghassem Asrar, Deputy Associate Administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. "The United States is a leader in Earth remote sensing, and NASA is proud of our role in building that leadership. Our work in partnership with NOAA and international partners such as JAXA is an important part of the world’s scientific research on global precipitation and weather. TRMM has been a valuable part of that legacy and we look to our follow-on missions to continue to reap great public benefit," he added.
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