Landsat 5 operations continued successfully last night. The Thematic Mapper instrument payload was turned on today, and imagery was successfully downlinked at the Landsat Ground Station (LGS) in Sioux Falls, SD. You will be able to monitor the passes on EarthNow (http://earthnow.usgs.gov). Engineering staff are currently evaluating the data collected to determine if the instrument has returned to nominal operating conditions. Data collected will not be offered to the public until it is evaluated. USGS is still investigating the cause of the anomaly, but does not have anything definitive to report at this time.
Ten Years of TIRS: Data for a Thirsty World
Landsat 8 very nearly flew without a thermal infrared sensor. This is the backstory of how TIRS made it onto Landsat 8.