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Japan's Spaceport: Photos from Tanegashima Space Center

H-II Rocket Model on Display at Tanegashima Space Center

NASA/Bill Ingalls

A full size model of an H-II rocket is seen at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC) visitors center a week ahead of the planned launch of an H-IIA rocket carrying the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory, Feb. 21, 2014, Tanegashima Island, Japan.

Launch Pads at JAXA Tanegashima Space Center

NASA/Bill Ingalls

The launch pads at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Tanegashima Space Center are seen a week ahead of the planned launch of an H-IIA rocket carrying the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory, Feb. 21, 2014, Tanegashima Island, Japan.

School Girls Pose in Front of Sign Featuring Mascot ‘Chuta-Kun’

NASA/Bill Ingalls

Minamitane elementary school girls pose for a photo in front of their school's sign featuring the town's mascot "Chuta-kun", Feb. 23, 2014, Tanegashima Island, Japan. The Chuta-kun mascot rides a rocket and has guns on the side of his helmet to show the areas history as the site of the first known contact of Europe and the Japanese, in 1543 and the introduction of the gun.

H-IIA Rocket Rolls Out for Global Precipitation Measurement Mission

NASA/Bill Ingalls

A Japanese H-IIA rocket carrying the NASA-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory is seen as it rolls out to launch pad 1 of the Tanegashima Space Center, Feb. 27, 2014, Tanegashima, Japan.

H-IIA Rocket Rolls Out for GPM Mission (10-Second Exposure)

NASA/Bill Ingalls

A Japanese H-IIA rocket carrying the NASA-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory is seen in this 10 second exposure as it rolls out to launch pad 1 of the Tanegashima Space Center, Feb. 27, 2014, Tanegashima, Japan.

Launch Pad 1 at Tanegashima Space Center

NASA/Bill Ingalls

Launch pad 1 is seen at the Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC) on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 in Tanegashima, Japan. A Japanese H-IIA rocket carrying the NASA-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory is planned for launch from pad 1 on Feb. 28, 2014.

JAXA Team to Pray for Safe Launch

NASA/Bill Ingalls

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) team members walk with their offering of sake to the Houman Shrine, the third, and final, shrine in a traditional San-ja Mairi, or Three Shrine Pilgrimage, where the team prays for a successful launch, Feb. 25, 2014, Tanegashima Island, Japan.

JAXA Team Preps for Prayer at Shrine

NASA/Bill Ingalls

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) team members wash their hands before praying at the Houman Shrine, the third, and final, shrine in a traditional San-ja Mairi, or Three Shrine Pilgrimage, where the team prays for a successful launch, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, Tanegashima Island, Japan.

JAXA Team Bows in Prayer for Safe Launch

NASA/Bill Ingalls

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) team members bow at the Ebisu Shrine, the first shrine in a traditional San-ja Mairi, or Three Shrine Pilgrimage, where the team prays for a successful launch, Feb. 25, 2014, Tanegashima Island, Japan.

Officials Tour Tanegashima Space Center

NASA/Bill Ingalls

Caroline Kennedy, U.S. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Japan, center, tours the Tanegashima Space Center, Visitors Center with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), President, Naoki Okumura, right, on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, Tanegashima, Japan. The Ambassador visiting the space center and hopes to witness the planned launch of a Japanese H-IIA rocket carrying the NASA-JAXA, Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory. Once launched, the GPM spacecraft will collect information that unifies data from an international network of existing and future satellites to map global rainfall and snowfall every three hours.

Surfer Catches Wave Near Tanegashima Space Center

NASA/Bill Ingalls

A surfer navigates the waters in front of the Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC) launch pads on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014, Tanegashima Island, Japan.

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