Source: General Dynamics
General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems successfully completed the Critical Design Review (CDR) for the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) spacecraft which is scheduled for launch in December 2012. General Dynamics is responsible for the design and fabrication of the spacecraft bus, integration of the government-furnished instruments, satellite-level testing, on-orbit satellite check-out and continuing on-orbit engineering support. General Dynamics will also provide a spacecraft/observatory simulator. General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems is a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD). General Dynamics is building the LDCM spacecraft in its state-of-the-art satellite manufacturing facility in Gilbert, Arizona. The company is using mature, qualified, flight-proven components to reduce development time, shorten integration time and improve performance.
The complete LDCM system design was presented to the NASA Independent Review Team representing NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and Kennedy Space Center, the United States Geological Survey and The Aerospace Corporation.
Since 1972, Landsat satellites have collected information about Earth from space and archived imagery of the Earth’s surface for use in agriculture, education, business, science and government. The Landsat Data Continuity Mission observatory will include evolutionary advances in technology and performance.
The next major milestone for the LDCM team is the Spacecraft Integration Readiness Review scheduled for April 2010.
+ General Dynamics Press Release [external link]
Safeguarding freshwater resources is crucial, and while scientists use a variety of ground-based techniques to gauge water quality, the Landsat program has provided water quality data from orbit for decades.