The Landsat 9 satellite has arrived at Vandenberg Space Force Base (VSFB) on the central coast of California, where it is scheduled to launch from on Thursday, September 16, 2021.
The satellite departed from the Northrop Grumman facility in Gilbert, Arizona in the early morning hours of Tuesday, July 6.
Prior to its departure, Landsat 9 successfully completed two major readiness reviews: its Pre-Ship Review and its Flight Operations Review / Operations Readiness Review.
Panelists on both review boards gave high praise to the Landsat 9 mission team for the observatory’s preparedness and adherence to schedule in spite of pandemic-related challenges.
The Pre-Ship Review panel lauded the thoroughness of Landsat 9’s comprehensive observatory test program and the performance of Landsat 9 during those tests, and approved shipment of Landsat 9 to VSFB.
Likewise, the Flight Operations Review / Operations Readiness Review panel endorsed Landsat 9’s fitness to proceed to launch after evaluating mission readiness, test programs for ground readiness, calibration and validation efforts, and launch and early operation plans.
Following the reviews, NASA Landsat 9 Project Manager, Del Jenstrom, remarked, “I am once again in awe of the incredible work this joint NASA/USGS/contractor team does, overcoming challenges and adversity over and over again.”
Landsat 9 is a joint mission of NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey. Landsat 9 is the most advanced satellite in the Landsat series; it will extend the data record of Earth’s land surface that began with the first Landsat satellite in 1972. Landsat’s high-quality scientific data makes multi-decadal time series studies possible, and its data are regularly used for land management efforts around the world.
Every Landsat satellite has lifted off from Vandenberg, and Landsat 9 will soon follow.
As Jenstrom told the Landsat 9 mission team, “Thanks to your work we are off to the launch site and prepared to operate! Go Landsat 9!”
NASA’s Launch Services Program also welcomed Landsat 9’s Atlas V rocket to Vandenberg recently:
Welcome to Vandenberg Space Force Base! ✈️
The @ulalaunch #AtlasV rocket that will launch #Landsat9 arrived in CA. We are launching this Earth-observing mission in September! Stay tuned for more mission milestones. pic.twitter.com/H6x2FFqK37
— NASA’s Launch Services Program (@NASA_LSP) July 8, 2021