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.


 
 

 
boeing-satellite

Boeing receives first order for 502 Phoenix small satellite

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Boeing has received its first commercial order for the 502 Phoenix small satellite from HySpecIQ of Washington, D.C. The satellites will carry the commercial remote sensing industry’s first high...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA/Maria-Jose ViÒas

Hubble finds supernova companion star after two decades of searching

Image courtesy of NASA/Maria-Jose ViÒas This is an artist’s impression of supernova 1993J, which exploded in the galaxy M81. Using the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have identified the blue helium-burning companion...
 
 
NASA television image

Space station Expedition 40 crew returns to Earth, lands safely in Kazakhstan

NASA television image A trio of International Space Station crew members returned to Earth and landed in Kazakhstan at 10:23 p.m., EDT, Sept. 10 after spending 167 days aboard the orbital laboratory. Seen left to right, Oleg Ar...
 

 

NASA instrument aboard European spacecraft returns first science results

A NASA instrument aboard the European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) Rosetta orbiter has successfully made its first delivery of science data from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The instrument, named Alice, began mapping the comet’s surface last month, recording the first far-ultraviolet light spectra of the comet’s surface. From the data, the Alice team discovered the comet i...
 
 

NASA awards OMPS modification for the Joint Polar Satellite System-2 Mission

NASA has awarded a sole source contract modification to Ball Aerospace and Technology Corp. of Boulder, Colo., for the Ozone Mapping and Profiling Suite for flight on the Joint Polar Satellite System-2 mission. The JPSS-2 mission is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide global environmental data in low Earth polar...
 
 
APL/NASA photograph

NASA probes studying Earth’s radiation belts celebrate two year anniversary

APL/NASA photograph This image was created using data from the Relativistic Electron-Proton Telescopes on NASA’s twin Van Allen Probes. It shows the emergence of a new third transient radiation belt. The new belt is seen ...
 




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>