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

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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.

Posted by NASA on October 4, 2021

Landsat 9 takes off from Vandenberg Space Flight Center

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. Kim Shiflett, NASA

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Landsat 9 is functioning as expected after its successful launch at 1:12 p.m. CT Monday, Sept. 27, from Vandenberg Space Force Base to join its two predecessors in orbit.

The Earth-observing satellite separated from the Atlas V rocket at 2:34 p.m. and made contact about 80 minutes later with the ground station at Svalbard, Norway.

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