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Landsat 9 Power-Positive and Proceeding Smoothly Through On-Orbit Checkout

Landsat 9 Power-Positive and Proceeding Smoothly Through On-Orbit Checkout

October 04, 2021 • Landsat 9 successfully launched on Monday, Sept 27, 2021 at 11:12 a.m. PDT and is now proceeding smoothly and accordingly through its scheduled on-orbit checkout period.

Thus far during checkout, the key milestones that Landsat 9 has passed include:

  • deployment of the solar array and power-positive state;
  • initiation and testing of all spacecraft subsystems, including attitude control, propulsion, solid state recorder, and payload interfaces
  • successful communications between the Landsat Multi-satellite Operations Center (LMOC) and spacecraft
  • successful contacts between the spacecraft and Landsat Ground Network (LGN) data receiving stations

On Saturday, October 2, the two Landsat 9 instruments (OLI-2 and TIRS-2) were turned on and warmed up, beginning a period of outgassing that will last for the next three weeks and which must occur prior to initial Earth imaging for calibration.  

Orbit insertion by the ULA Atlas V was extremely precise, and as a result Landsat 9 currently has fuel beyond the 10-year mission requirement.  

Landsat 9 is on schedule to acquire a “first-light” Earth image during early November, followed by ascent to its final orbital altitude and start of normal operations in early January.  

Go Landsat 9!

News brief courtesy of Jeff Masek, Landsat 9 Project Scientist (NASA)

Landsat 9 launch
On the cloudy fall morning of Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, the Landsat 9 satellite takes-off from Vandenberg Space Flight Center aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 401 rocket. Photo credit: Kim Shiflett, NASA
Dr. Jeff Masek
Dr. Jeff Masek, the Landsat 9 Project Scientist (NASA), stands next to the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket with the Landsat 9 satellite onboard at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. Photo Credit: Bill Ingalls, NASA
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