Alaunch date of no earlier than September 23 has been set for the latest Landsat remote sensing satellite, a joint mission of NASA and the US Geological Survey.
In readiness for launch, the Landsat 9 spacecraft has been enclosed within the fairing of the Atlas V 401 rocket that will send it into orbit.
Data collected by Landsat 9 will add to nearly 50 years of free and publicly available data from the Landsat program, the longest-running enterprise for acquisition of satellite imagery of Earth.
Once above the atmosphere, approximately four and a half minutes after launch, Landsat 9’s protective fairing will be jettisoned and a Centaur upper-stage rocket will propel the satellite to its final orbital altitude. Finally, the Centaur will separate from Landsat 9 about 80 minutes after launch.
Once operational, Landsat 9 will replace Landsat 7 and join its sibling, Landsat 8, in continuing to collect data from across the entire planet every eight days.
This calibrated data is critical for monitoring land use and managing essential resources such as crops, water resources and forests.
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