Landsat Missions

Landsat 9 History

Landsat 9 Logo

Planned Launch: December 2020

The Landsat satellite system repeatedly observes the global land surface at a moderate resolution to help scientists distinguish between natural and human-induced changes to the landscape. Like Landsat 8, Landsat 9 will have a higher imaging capacity than previous Landsat satellites (~740 scenes/day), allowing for more valuable data to be added to the Landsat global land imaging archive.

A rendering of the Landsat 9 spacecraft.
Figure 1. A rendering of the Landsat 9 spacecraft. Image credit: Orbital ATK

 

Participants

  • NASA: Space and launch segments
  • Department of the Interior (DOI) U.S. Geological Survey (USGS): Ground segment and mission operations after launch
  • Spacecraft bus: Orbital ATK
  • Operational Land Imager Sensor-2: Ball Aerospace & Technology Corp.
  • Thermal Infrared Sensor-2: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
     

Launch

  • Date: December 2020
  • Vehicle: Launch services will be procured competitively through the Launch Services Program (LSP) at Kennedy Space Center (KSC).
  • Launched by: NASA
  • Site: Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
     

Spacecraft

The Landsat 9 spacecraft handles power, propulsion, solid state recorder (SSR), space to ground communications, and housekeeping.

  • Design Life: 5 years
  • Consumables: 10 years
     

Communications

  • Science Data Downlink: 384 Mbps on X-band frequency
  • Telemetry, Tracking, and Command Systems: S-band frequency

 

Orbit

  • Worldwide Reference System-2 (WRS-2) path/row system
  • Sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 438 miles (705 km)
  • 233 orbit cycle; covers the entire globe every 16 days (except for the highest polar latitudes)
  • Inclined 98.2°
  • Circles the Earth every 98.9 minutes
  • Speed:  16,760 mph (26,972 km/hr)
  • Equatorial crossing time: 10:00 a.m. +/- 15 minutes
     

Sensors

Operational Land Imager-2 (OLI-2)

The OLI-2 design is a copy of Landsat 8’s OLI, and will provide visible and near infrared / shortwave infrared (VNIR/SWIR) imagery consistent with previous Landsat spectral, spatial, radiometric and geometric qualities. OLI-2 will provide data for nine spectral bands with a maximum ground sampling distance (GSD), both in-track and cross track, of 30 meters (98 feet) for all bands except the panchromatic band, which has a 15 meters (49 feet) GSD. OLI-2 will provide both internal calibration sources to ensure radiometric accuracy and stability, as well as the ability to perform solar and lunar calibrations.

  • Nine spectral bands:
    • Band 1 Visible (0.43 - 0.45 µm) 30 m
    • Band 2 Visible (0.450 - 0.51 µm) 30 m
    • Band 3 Visible (0.53 - 0.59 µm) 30 m
    • Band 4 Red (0.64 - 0.67 µm) 30 m
    • Band 5 Near-Infrared (0.85 - 0.88 µm) 30 m
    • Band 6 SWIR 1(1.57 - 1.65 µm) 30 m
    • Band 7 SWIR 2 (2.11 - 2.29 µm) 30 m
    • Band 8 Panchromatic (PAN) (0.50 - 0.68 µm) 15 m
    • Band 9 Cirrus (1.36 - 1.38 µm) 30 m
       

Thermal Infrared Sensor-2 (TIRS-2)

Landsat 9’s Thermal Infrared Sensor 2 (TIRS-2) will measure thermal radiance emitted from the land surface in two thermal infrared bands using the same technology that was used for TIRS on Landsat 8, however TIRS-2 will be an improved version of Landsat 8’s TIRS, both with regards to instrument risk class and design to minimize stray light.  TIRS-2 will provide two spectral bands with a maximum ground sampling distance, both in-track and cross track, of 100 m (328 ft) for both bands. TIRS-2 provides an internal blackbody calibration source as well as space view capabilities.

  • Two spectral bands:
    • Band 10 TIRS 1 (10.6 - 11.19 µm) 100 m
    • Band 11 TIRS 2 (11.5 - 12.51 µm) 100 m
       

Other Characteristics

  • Scene size: 170 km x 185 km (106 mi x 115 mi)
  • Design Life: 5 years

 

Details about the spacecraft and instruments

 

Milestones (Key Decision Points) of Landsat 9

The Landsat Science Team addresses the science goals of the Landsat missions.

In accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), specifics of the mission are source selection sensitive. Information will be released as appropriate on this page.

 

About

Landsat represents the world's longest continuously acquired collection of space-based moderate-resolution land remote sensing data. Four decades of imagery provides a unique resource for those who work in agriculture, geology, forestry, regional planning, education, mapping, and global change research. Landsat images are also invaluable for emergency response and disaster relief.

 

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Landsat Updates

The Landsat Update is an informal communication tool, prepared periodically and distributed electronically to USGS Landsat partners, to provide information about Landsat activities and related topics of interest.

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