What sensors does the Landsat 9 satellite carry?

Landsat 9 carries the same instruments that are on the Landsat 8 satellite but with some improvements:

  • Operational Land Imager-2 (OLI-2) for reflective band data.

  • Thermal Infrared Sensor-2 (TIRS-2) for the thermal infrared bands.

  • OLI-2 has a slightly improved signal-to-noise ratio over Landsat 8's OLI.

  • Landsat 9’s TIRS-2 is a Class-B instrument with a five-year design life and a key improvement of stray light correction, an issue that was discovered on Landsat 8’s TIRS (Landsat 8's TIRS is a Class-C instrument with a three-year design life).

  • As with Landsat 8, Landsat 9 has higher imaging capacity than previous Landsat missions, allowing for more valuable Earth observations to be added into the USGS Landsat archive.

Learn more:  Landsat 9 Mission  

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How do I search for and download Landsat data?

Landsat data products held in the USGS archives can be searched and downloaded at no charge from a variety of sources. Visit the Landsat Data Access web page for information about how Landsat data products can be downloaded individually or in bulk. Landsat imagery not found in the USGS archive might have been collected by one of the USGS...

What are Landsat Collections?

In 2016, the USGS reorganized the Landsat archive into a tiered collection. This structure ensures that Landsat Level-1 products provide a consistent archive of known data quality to support time-series analyses and data “stacking”, while controlling continuous improvement of the archive and access to all data as they are acquired. Learn more:...

What are U.S. Landsat Analysis Ready Data (ARD)?

U.S. Landsat Analysis Ready Data (ARD) are pre-packaged and pre-processed bundles of Landsat data products that make the Landsat archive more accessible and easier to analyze, and reduce the amount of time users spend on data processing for time-series analysis. ARD contains Level-2 products derived from Landsat Collections Level-1 scenes. ARD are...

When was the Landsat 9 satellite launched?

Landsat 9—a partnership between the USGS and NASA—was launched from Space Launch Complex 3E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California upon a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 launch vehicle on September 27, 2021. Learn more: Landsat 9 Mission Landsat Missions Timeline Since...

How do I open Landsat satellite data files?

Many image processing programs (ERDAS IMAGINE®, PCI Geomatica®, ENVI®, IDRISI®, etc.)* can import a variety of image formats, including the GeoTIFF files of Landsat data. Free Multispec software that is included with the USGS lesson plan Tracking Change Over Time can be used for limited spectral analysis. To view Landsat scenes without using...

After a Landsat scene is collected, when will it become available for search and download?

Landsat scenes directly downlinked to the USGS EROS Landsat Ground Station become available through EarthExplorer within 6 hours after acquisition, and then become visible in GloVis and the LandsatLook Viewe r within 24 hours. Scenes downlinked to other USGS Ground Stations can be available within 1 to 2 weeks. Scenes downlinked to International...

What is the Landsat satellite program and why is it important?

The Landsat Program is a series of Earth-observing satellite missions jointly managed by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey. On July 23, 1972, in cooperation with NASA, the Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS-1) was launched. It was later renamed Landsat 1. Additional Landsat satellites followed in the 1970s and 1980s. Landsat 7 was...

What are the best Landsat spectral bands for use in my research?

The Spectral Characteristics Viewer is an interactive tool that can be used to visualize how the bands--or channels--of different satellite sensors measure the intensity of the many wavelengths (colors) of light. This is also known as the relative spectral response (RSR). By overlaying the spectral curves from different features (spectra), one can...
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Date published: February 15, 2019

First in a Series of Landsat 9 Ground Readiness Tests is Successful

Landsat 9 Ground System development team members executed the first of a series of Ground Readiness Tests (GRTs) this week as they successfully simulated the communication of command and telemetry data between the Ground Network Element (GNE) at EROS and the Landsat Multi-Satellite Operations Center (LMOC) at the Goddard Space Flight Center.

Date published: August 20, 2018

Landsat 9 Ground System Moves from Design to Development and Beyond

The design work is done. The development, off and running. With a Dec. 15, 2020, launch date penciled in for Landsat 9, the business of building the L9 Ground System is ready to springboard off a final Ground System Critical Design Review being hosted by the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center at the end of September.

Date published: April 12, 2018

Landsat 9 Ground System Development Not Simply a Repeat of Landsat 8

It might seem at first blush that developing and building a ground system for the upcoming Landsat 9 mission would be less complicated than past missions, particularly since L9 is often characterized as a repeat of Landsat 8.

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Landsat Missions Timeline
November 6, 2019

Landsat Missions Timeline

Since 1972, Landsat satellites have continuously acquired space-based images of the Earth’s land surface, providing uninterrupted data to help land managers and policymakers make informed decisions about our natural resources and the environment.

Visit Landsat Missions for more information. 

Landsat 9 mission Development and Lifecycle Timeline

Landsat 9 Mission Development and Lifecycle Timeline

This timeline shows the the Landsat 9 mission development and lifecycle. Image credit: NASA Landsat

Rendering of Landsat 9

Rendering of Landsat 9

A Rendering of the Landsat 9 spacecraft.