The only commercial launch of the Landsat program, Landsat 6 never achieved orbit.
Landsat 6 launched on October 5, 1993 on a Titan II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, but did not achieve orbit. The satellite carried the Enhanced Thematic Mapper, an improved version of the instruments on Landsat 4 and Landsat 5, and included a 15-meter panchromatic band.
Martin Marietta Astro Space designed and built the satellite, and Earth Observation Satellite Company (EOSAT) was responsible for development of the spacecraft and ground system under a Commerce Department contract.
Landsat 6 Satellite Planned Orbit Facts
- Planned to orbit at the Earth in a sun-synchronous, near-polar orbit,
- Anticipated to reach an altitude of 705 km (438 mi), inclined at 98.2 degrees (slightly retrograde)
- Expected to have a 16-day repeat cycle with an equatorial crossing time of 10:00 a.m. (+/- 15 minutes)
- Anticipated to use the Worldwide Reference System-2 (WRS-2) path/row system
- Expected scene size of 170 km x 185 km (106 mi x 115 mi), Like Landsat 4 and Landsat 5
Landsat 6 Instrument
Landsat 6 carried the ETM sensor. It was designed and built by Santa Barbara Research Center, a unit of GM Hughes Electronics.
Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM)
- Eight spectral bands, including a pan and thermal band:
- Band 1 Blue (0.45 - 0.52 µm) 30 m
- Band 2 Green (0.52 - 0.60 µm) 30 m
- Band 3 Red (0.63 - 0.69 µm) 30 m
- Band 4 Near-Infrared (0.76 - 0.90 µm) 30 m
- Band 5 Near-Infrared (1.55 - 1.75 µm) 30 m
- Band 6 Thermal (10.40 - 12.50 µm) 120 m
- Band 7 Mid-Infrared (2.08 - 2.35 µm) 30 m
- Band 8 Panchromatic (PAN) (0.52 - 0.90 µm) 15 m
- Ground Sampling Interval (pixel size): 30 m reflective, 120 m thermal
Landsat 6 Spacecraft Facts
- Power provided by a single sun-tracking solar array and two 50 Ampere-Hour (AHr), Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) batteries
- Attitude control provided through four reaction wheels (pitch, yaw, roll, and skew); three 2-channel gyros with celestial drift updating; a static Earth sensor; a 1750 processor; and torque rods and magnetometers for momentum uploading
- Orbit control and backup momentum unloading provided through a blow-down monopropellant hydrazine system with a single tank containing 270 pounds of hydrazine, associated plumbing, and twelve 1-pound-thrust jets
- Weight: approx. 4,800 lbs (2,200 kg)
- Length: 4.3 m (14 ft)
- Diameter: 2.8 m (9 ft)
Landsat 6 History (NASA Landsat Science)
NOAA press release, March 1995