Landsat 9 is now Functional. NASA in its recent update has skyrocketed Landsat 9 since September 27, 2021, at 1:12 PM CST from Vandenberg Space Force Base in Santa Barbara County, California.
Landsat 9 has also been disengaged from the Atlas V rocket at 2:34 p.m. EST, connecting 80 minutes later to the ground station at Svalbard, Norway.
The main purpose for which the U.S. created the Landsat Satellite was to observe the global land surface in a continuous manner. Which enables the view of both inherent bodies and human-made changes over timescales.
The increase of big cities has also been recorded by Landsat over time. For instance, farming trends and changing events of coasts, forests, deserts, and glaciers within the planet.
The diverse movement of animals from big and small has been cataloged by the satellite.
Landsat as we know has been in partnership with NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Succeeding to the launch of its first satellite in 1972.
According to Karen St. Germain, director of the Earth Science Division at NASA Headquarters. “This partnership has yielded positive results like up-to-date data for users varying from farmers to planners and scientists. With this data, one can understand, predict, and plan for the future in a changing climate.”
Landsat 9 is now making its way to its final orbital altitude of 438 miles (705 kilometers). It will be in a near-polar, Sun-synchronous orbit.
With both satellites, Landsat 8 and 9 being functional, can capture the entire Earth every eight days is recorded.
Landsat 9 was designed in a way to last for 5 years in rotation to replace the aged Landsat 7. To correct build-up time and the gap in observations.
The captured image is used by Scientists and researchers in detecting occurrences such as fertility of farms, large forest and health, water quality, coral reef habitat health, and glacier dynamics.
Over the years, the availability of Landsat data has been made accessible to users to check and download at this USGS website. You can also see other images of Earth from orbit at the NASA Earth Observatory website.
Landsat 9 carries the following sensors:
Similar instruments on its predecessor, Landsat 8 (satellite), can also be seen in Landsat 9, with a few modifications such as the:
- Operational Land Imager-2 (OLI-2) for reflective band data.
- Thermal Infrared Sensor-2 (TIRS-2) for the thermal infrared bands.
- OLI-2 has a slightly improved signal-to-noise ratio over Landsat 8’s OLI.
- Landsat 9’s TIRS-2 is a Class-B instrument with a five-year design life and a key improvement of stray light correction, an issue that was discovered on Landsat 8’s TIRS (Landsat 8’s TIRS is a Class-C instrument with a three-year design life).
- As with Landsat 8, Landsat 9 has a higher imaging capacity than previous Landsat missions, allowing for more valuable Earth observations to be added into the USGS Landsat archive.
NASA’s Launch Services Program located at Kennedy Space Center in Florida has been able to manage the launch of Landsat 9. Landsat program will mark 50 years in July, and this comes after the launch of its first Landsat satellite.
And ever since, continuous coverage of Earth’s land surfaces has been provided by the above program body. Enabling earth observers and resource managers to fast track land cover, land use, and the impacts of climate change and monitor natural resources.