On this day in 1984, Landsat 5 was launched into orbit. So today marks 28 years in orbit for Landsat 5. At 1:30p EDT Landsat 5 entered its 148,932nd orbit around Earth. She’s traveled more than 6.7 billion km—greater than the distance between Sun and Pluto! Landsat 5 imaging was halted in November 2011 when an electronic component vital to transmission of the satellite’s Thematic Mapper (TM) data began showing signs of imminent failure. Following an unsuccessful attempt to recover the backup electronic component, the USGS Flight Operations Team (FOT) is exploring potential changes to operational procedures for the primary component.
On Feb. 16, 2012, Landsat 5 Earth imaging operations were suspended for an additional 90 days while the FOT) continues to investigate options for the resumption of imaging.