Quick Facts

  • Science Instruments: OLI-2; TIRS-2
  • OLI-2 build: Ball Aerospace & Technology Corp.
  • TIRS-2 build: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Design Life: 5 years
  • Spacecraft Provider: Orbital ATK
  • Image Data: > 700 scenes per day
  • Target Launch Date: 2020
  • Launch Vehicle: TBD
  • Orbit: near-polar, sun-synchronous at an altitude of 438 miles (705 km)
  • Orbital Inclination: 98.2˚ ± 15˚
  • Spacecraft Speed: 16,760 mi/hr (26,972 km/hr),
  • Consumables: 10 years

Landsat 9—a partnership between NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey— will continue the Landsat program’s critical role in monitoring, understanding and managing the land resources needed to sustain human life.

Today’s increased rates of global land cover and land use change have profound consequences for weather and climate change, ecosystem function and services, carbon cycling and sequestration, resource management, the national and global economy, human health, and society.

Landsat is the only U.S. satellite system designed and operated to repeatedly observe the global land surface at a moderate scale that shows both natural and human-induced change.

More data | Better data

Since reducing the risk of a Landsat data gap is a high priority of the U.S. Sustainable Land Imaging Program, Landsat 9 will be a rebuild of Landsat 8 so it can be launched as soon as possible.

Landsat data in U.S. archive

The data contributions of each Landsat satellite to the U.S. Landsat data archive as of Sept. 13, 2016. For Landsats 4 and 5, the darker color on their bars represents Multispectral Scanner System data and the lighter color is Thematic Mapper data collected by the mission.

Landsat 9, like Landsat 8, will have a higher imaging capacity than past Landsats, allowing more valuable data to be added to the Landsat’s global land archive.

Landsat 8, after collecting data for 3.5 years, has already added over 827,000 images to the archive—this represents 12.5 percent of the entire 44-year Landsat data collection—and each day Landsat 8 adds another ~700 new scenes.

Landsat 9, like Landsat 8, will be both radiometrically and geometrically better than earlier generation Landsats.

Landsat 9 has been fast-tracked for a December 2020 launch.

Timeline of the Landsat Program