GCOM is a series of JAXA Earth Observation Missions as a successor to the ill-fated ADEOS 2 satellite and to the Aqua Mission. GCOM is, together with the GPM Mission, Japan's contribution to the GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems).
To increase security and scientific output JAXA made the decision to split the original ADEOS 2 mission into two models of smaller satellites, GCOM-W for water observation and GCOM-C for climate observation. It is planned to launch for each mission three satellites during the next decade.
The mission of GCOM-W1 (SHIZUKU「しずく」)is to observe the water cycle. The satellite will carry the AMSR follow on instrument. GCOM-W1 was agreed during FY 2006 and development of the satellite started from FY2007. The budget for the mission is 20 billion Yen (200 Million US-Dollar).
Launch of GCOM-W1 is proposed for 18 May 2012 (FY 2011) with the H-2A. Mass of the satellite is 2000 kg. OrbitType : Sun-synchronous, sub-recurrent Altitude : 699.6 km Inclination : 98.19 degrees Local time of ascending node : 13:30
See also GCOM-C
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