NASA will decommission the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) later this year. A highly successful scientific research mission, TRMM has provided data used worldwide in the monitoring and forecasting of hazardous weather on a demonstration basis. Originally intended to be a three-year mission when launched in 1997, TRMM is now in its seventh year of operation having completed all of its research and technology objectives four years ago. The extension of mission operations for nearly four additional years was made possible through NASAs efficient management of available resources, technical innovations, and substantial additional funding.
"TRMM has been an outstanding example of scientific success and U.S.-Japanese collaboration in conducting Earth observations from space. The unique TRMM precipitation observations have led to new knowledge concerning the Earths hydrological cycle and its variation," said NASAs Associate Administrator for Earth Science Dr. Ghassem Asrar. "We now look forward to continued cooperation with our Japanese partners on the Global Precipitation Measurement mission, that will build on the TRMM legacy," he added.
TRMM is the first mission dedicated to measuring tropical and subtropical rainfall through microwave and visible infrared sensors, including the first spaceborne rain radar. The Precipitation Radar aboard TRMM is the first rain radar ever to be launched into space. It measures precipitation distributions over both land and sea. TRMM has exceeded expectations for accuracy and resolution and has given unprecedented insights into rainfall producing cloud systems over tropical land masses and oceans.
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