Space

July 23, 2012

Lockheed Martin marks Landsat 40th anniversary

The NASA Landsat 7 spacecraft is seen undergoing final inspection in a cleanroom at the Lockheed Martin facility in Valley Forge, Penn. It was launched April 15, 1999, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

An unprecedented enterprise began 40 years ago today when the Earth Resources Technology Satellite – later renamed Landsat – was launched.

Five more Landsat spacecraft would reach orbit during the next 27 years. All were launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., into near-polar orbits allowing them to image the entire Earth, one slice at a time, as it rotated below.

“We congratulate NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey on this momentous anniversary of an incredible resource that serves the entire planet,” said Bob LeRoy, director of Civil Space East Coast Operations for Lockheed Martin Space Systems, and the company’s Landsat 7 program director. “Landsat is the central pillar of this nation’s civil remote sensing capability, and we’re enormously proud of our 40-year partnership with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the U.S. Geological Survey. Since the very beginning of the program in 1972, Lockheed Martin has built every spacecraft, and this has been, and remains, a true source of pride for us. I am particularly proud of the men and women at our Valley Forge, Penn., facility who so distinguished themselves in the development of the Landsat spacecraft.”

In 1975, NASA Administrator Dr. James Fletcher stated: “If I had to pick one spacecraft, one spacecraft development to save the world, I would pick ERTS and the satellites which I believe will be evolved from it late in this decade.”

Landsat’s 40-year collection of land images serves those who observe and study the Earth, those who manage and utilize its natural resources, and those who monitor the changes brought on by natural processes and human activities. The images provide information applicable to the broad and diverse needs of business, science, education, and government. The data from Landsat spacecraft constitutes the longest moderate spatial resolution multispectral record of Earth’s continental surfaces as seen from space and the only such data set with near global coverage every year. The record is unmatched in quality, detail, coverage, and value. As changes occur on the Earth’s surface due to natural or human-induced events, scientists are able to use the archive of imagery from the Landsat missions to better understand the behavior of the global environment.

Two Landsat spacecraft remain operational. Landsat 5, launched in 1984 with a three-year design life, continues providing imagery via its Multispectral Scanner; Landsat 5′s primary instrument, the Thematic Mapper, collected data for more than 27 years until a data transmission problem ended its operation late last year. Landsat 7, launched in 1999 with a five-year design life, is still generating up to 400 scenes of moderate-resolution Earth imagery daily through its science instrument, the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus. The Landsat program has been jointly managed by NASA and USGS since 2000 and the USGS is responsible for space flight operations, data archives, and product generation and distribution.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
NASA photograph by Carla Thomas

Katherine Lott awarded NASA Armstrong employee scholarship

NASA photograph by Carla Thomas Katherine Lott, the recipient of the 2014 NASA Armstrong Employee Exchange Council Joseph R. Vensel Memorial Scholarship, is congratulated by NASA Armstrong center director David McBride. Flankin...
 
 
NASA Earth Observatory photograph

NASA selects instruments to track climate impact on vegetation

NASA Earth Observatory photograph Two new spaceborne Earth-observing instruments will help scientists better understand how global forests and ecosystems are affected by changes in climate and land use change. This image of the...
 
 
ULA photograph

AF launches successful satellite mission

ULA photograph The Automated Navigation and Guidance Experiment for Local Space satellite, an Air Force Research Laboratory experimental satellite, and two Air Force Space Command Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Prog...
 

 
NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich

NASA’s Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan vists Armstrong Flight Research Center

NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich Surrounded by small remotely piloted aircraft, Albion Bowers explains to Ellen Stofan how technologies are tested on small platforms prior to full scale tests. NASA’s chief scientist Ellen S...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech image

NASA’s Mars spacecraft maneuvers to prepare for close comet flyby

NASA/JPL-Caltech image This graphic depicts the orbit of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it swings around the sun in 2014. On Oct. 19, the comet will have a very close pass at Mars. Its nucleus will miss Mars by about 82,000 m...
 
 
Image courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Satellite study reveals parched U.S. West using up underground water

Image courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Reclamation The Colorado River Basin lost nearly 53 million acre feet of freshwater over the past nine years, according to a new study based on data from NASA’s GRACE mission. This is almost d...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>