Landsat 9

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Landsat 9
Mission type Earth imaging
Operator NASA / USGS
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer Northrop Grumman (Orbital ATK)
Start of mission
Launch date December 2020 (2020-12)[1]
Rocket Atlas V 401
Launch site Vandenberg SLC-3E
Contractor United Launch Alliance
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Sun-synchronous

Landsat 9 is a planned US, Earth observation satellite, tentatively scheduled for launch in December 2020.[1] NASA is in charge of building, launching, and testing the system, while the United States Geological Survey (USGS) will process, archive, and distribute its data.[2] It's intended as the eighth satellite in the Landsat series, Landsat 6 having failed to reach orbit.


The design and construction of Landsat 9 were assigned by NASA, under a delivery order contract to Orbital ATK, in October 2016. The purchase was agreed on $129.9 million, part of a five-year contract between the two entities.

Landsat 9 will largely replicate the functions of its predecessor Landsat 8. Both spacecraft will operate near-identical copies of remote sensors; the Operational Land Imager (OLI) and the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) instruments - optical and thermal sensors respectively - will now be called OLI-2 and TIRS; the last one will be upgraded to a risk class B implementation (high priority, high national significance, high complexity[3]), while no changes will be applied to OLI-2.[4] OLI-2 will collect data for nine spectral bands with a ground sample distance (GSD) of 30 m for all bands except the panchromatic band, which has a 15 m GSD. [5]

The budget that provides for initial work on Landsat 9 also calls for research into less expensive and smaller components for future Landsat hardware.[2]


Landsat 9 has a contracted launch date of June 2021, though United Launch Alliance will be able to launch the spacecraft as soon as December 2020 if it is ready.[6] This is 4–5 years after the end of Landsat 7's mission design lifetime, and near the end of its maximum (fuel supply) lifetime. Funding decisions may change the launch date. The Launch Services Program (LSP) at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) will control the launch services, which is planned to be launched from the Vandenberg Air Force Base.

See also


  1. ^ a b "Landsat 9". NASA Landsat Science. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  2. ^ a b "NASA, USGS Begin Work on Landsat 9 to Continue Land Imaging Legacy". NASA. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Risk Classification for NASA payloads" (PDF). NASA.
  4. ^ "Landsat 9 Science Instrument Details « Landsat Science". Retrieved 2017-04-07.
  5. ^ "Landsat 9 Science Instrument Details « Landsat Science". Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  6. ^ Clark, Stephen (23 October 2017). "SpaceX, ULA win NASA contracts to launch Earth observation satellites". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 24 October 2017.

External links

  • USGS Landsat Website
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