Ambassador Kennedy Looks Forward to Joint NASA-JAXA Satellite Launch

AMBASSADOR KENNEDY: Good afternoon. I want to thank President Tsumagari and the university for a wonderful event showing the importance of international study. It’s an honor to be here on my first trip to Kagoshima and I’m excited about attending the launch of the U.S.-Japan Global Precipitation Measurement Mission early Friday morning.

GPM represents the most recent cooperation in the 40-year history of shared space exploration between the United States and Japan. And it’s an extension of the humanitarian work that our two countries do together around the world to benefit humanity.

The GPM mission, which consists of a NASA satellite and a JAXA instrument on top of a Japanese rocket will measure precipitation over 90 percent of the Earth every three hours. This will help scientists understand the Earth’s water and energy supply, manage the food and water cycle, and plan and react to natural disasters and storms more efficiently.

None of this would be possible without the close collaboration of scientists in our two countries toward the many ways that we work together.

This mission has a special significance for me personally. President Kennedy understood the power of space exploration to stimulate innovation and prosperity and inspire new generations to work for a more peaceful planet.

I have been to a shuttle launch at the Kennedy Space Center, so now I’m excited to be able to say that I’ve been to a satellite launch at the Tanegashima Space Center.

Thank you very much.