Press Release


Extension of TRMM Operation (SAC Report)

August 11, 2004 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

1. Introduction
JAXA reported to the Space Activities Commission (SAC) on July 14, 2004 that JAXA had already agreed to the policy of NASA to decommission TRMM.

2. Existing condition of NASA
NASA issued a press release on August 6, 2004(JST) that NASA extends TRMM operations through the end of 2004. The following is the gist of NASA's press release.

  • NASA will extend operation of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) through the end of 2004, in light of a request from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).The extension will provide data during another storm season.
  • TRMM has yielded significant scientific data over the last seven years. TRMM data has been used for monitoring and predicting rainstorms as well as for storm research.
  • "The extension of TRMM through this year's hurricane season provides significant data," said Dr. Ghassem Asrar, Deputy Associate Administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate. TRMM is the satellite to measure rainfall over the global tropics. It plays a big part in measuring and studying the earth's climate, and predicting the weather.
  • NOAA and JAXA welcome the decision to extend TRMM.
  • NASA and JAXA look forward to continuing their close collaboration through establishment of a new advanced capability for the measurement of precipitation globally with the Global Precipitation Measurement Mission (GPM), a follow-on research spacecraft to TRMM.

3. Future Plan
NASA and NOAA have asked the National Academy of Sciences to convene a workshop next month to advise NASA and NOAA on the best use of TRMM's remaining spacecraft life; TRMM's safe, controlled de-orbit; and the need for a follow-on research space craft.

For inquiries:
JAXA Public Affairs Department
Tel: +81-3-6266-6413 to 7, Fax: +81-3-6266-6910