Though it will be years before the Global Precipitation Measurement satellite launches, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) should begin formal planning for the mission, a committee of the National Research Council of the U.S. National Academies recommended in a report released on 31 August.

The report, ‘NOAAs Role in Space-based Global Precipitation Estimation and Application,’ is the second from the committee; its first report recommended extension of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), which NASA agreed to extend until at least 2009.