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May 8, 2012 - Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper Ceases Routine Acquisitions - Update

After a silent winter, the USGS turned on the Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) in late April to determine the state of the electronics problem that suspended operations in November, 2011.

Unfortunately, several alternate methods of acquisitions did not alleviate the problem, which severely limits any further acquisitions with the TM. Currently, the USGS plans to acquire only a handful of images over the next few weeks as we examine our options. Landsat 5 has a long and storied career, and the data collected are invaluable to the study of our Earth.

The Multi-Spectral Scanner (MSS) instrument on Landsat 5 has been reactivated and MSS data are being collected over the United States. The MSS data are being archived but processing and distribution of the data will not be possible until the USGS develops the necessary product generation capabilities.