Climate Research Satellite Blazes Into Space

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Bill Ingalls / NASA

A Japanese H-IIA rocket with the NASA-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory onboard, launches from the Tanegashima Space Center, on Feb. 28, 2014, in Tanegashima, Japan.

A  rocket carrying a state-of-the-art satellite that will be used to measure rain and snowfall sped into orbit Friday morning after its successful launch from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan. The $900 million satellite, a joint venture between NASA and Japan’s space agency, is the most sophisticated instrument of its kind, according to CNN. The launch is one of five earth science missions NASA  has planned this year.