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TRMM is a research satellite designed to improve our understanding of the distribution and variability of precipitation within the tropics as part of the water cycle in the current climate system. By covering the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the Earth, TRMM provides much needed information on rainfall and its associated heat release that helps to power the global atmospheric circulation that shapes both weather and climate. In coordination with other satellites in NASA's Earth Observing System, TRMM provides important precipitation information using several space-borne instruments to increase our understanding of the interactions between water vapor, clouds, and precipitation, that are central to regulating Earth's climate.