When will Landsat 9 data become available for download?

Landsat 9 is expected to be available for download around mid-January, 2022.

After a Landsat satellite launch, the first 100 days are considered the “Commissioning Phase” — this is when NASA ensures that the spacecraft has reached and maintains proper orbit, verifies that communications to and from the satellite are successful, and that the sensors onboard the satellite are working nominally. Once NASA completes their work, the USGS is given responsibility for satellite operations and data acquisition.

The timeline below displays the specific activities that take place throughout and after the first 100 days. Applying this timeframe to Landsat 9, launched Sept 27, 2021, it can be assumed that data products acquired by the Operational Land Imager 2 (OLI-2) and the Thermal Infrared Sensor 2 (TIRS-2) will become available around mid-January 2022. Announcements will be made on the Landsat Missions Web Site and through the USGS Landsat social media channels when Landsat 9 data become available.

Landsat 9 Commissioning and Operations Phases after Launch

This graphic displays the activities that start as soon as the Landsat 9 satellite is launched. During the 100-day commissioning phase, NASA monitors all aspects of the spacecraft as it travels towards its final orbit height of 705 km (438 mi.) above the Earth. Spacecraft calibration and maneuvers are conducted and verified throughout the commissioning phase to ensure that all systems are operating nominally. At 100 days, ownership of the Landsat 9 mission is transferred to the USGS which begins the operations phase.

Launch to 30 days:

Spacecraft activation, commissioning, and orbital maneuvers are performed.

+30-60 Days:

The first scenes will be acquired from the onboard Operational Land Imager-2 (OLI-2) and Thermal Infrared Sensor-2 (TIRS) instruments allowing NASA and USGS Calibration/Validation experts to verify the quality of data being delivered. During this time, cross calibration exercises between both Landsat 9 and 8 will be performed, a once in a mission’s lifetime simultaneous imaging opportunity. Following this, further spacecraft maneuvers will continue to be performed, ensuring the satellite has established its place in a WRS-2 orbit.

+60-100 Days:

Throughout days 60-100 post launch, verification tests are conducted to ensure routine operations will be successful. A Post-Launch Assessment Review (PLAR) is conducted followed shortly by the Mission Transition and Handover Review (MTHR) which acts as a final review. The MTHR is an important event, after which responsibility and ownership of the Landsat 9 Mission is transferred from NASA to the USGS.

+100 Days (early 2022):

After 100 days, the USGS conducts nominal science operations, maintains routine acquisitions, as well as performs ongoing Calibration/Validation of the data. Landsat 9 Level-1 data and Level 2 science products will then become available at no cost to all users through the USGS data portals.

Please visit the Landsat Mission and Landsat 9 webpages for more information.

(Public domain.)

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