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January 19, 2024

On Friday, January 19, 2024 (DOY 019) at 02:41:50Z, Landsat 7 imaging was suspended due to the satellite’s transition into full sunlight, which caused issues with the batteries. Imaging was suspended to retain the health and safety of the batteries. The satellite will remain in full sunlight until mid-April 2024.

Illustration of Landsat 7 in orbit

In early 2022, the USGS Flight Operations Team (FOT) lowered the orbit of Landsat 7 when Landsat 9 became operational. The Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus sensor onboard Landsat 7 has been acquiring data in the Extended Science Mission mode since May of 2022. Since this time, the satellite has continued to drift within its orbit, exposing it to periods of full sunlight. 


A full sunlight period is when the solar arrays on the satellite are always exposed to the sun and constantly charge the onboard batteries. On January 16, 2024, Landsat 7 entered its first full sunlight period that will last through April 16, 2024. The satellite will continue to experience full sunlight periods for the remainder of its operational life. 


On January 18, 2024, the FOT observed an increase in battery temperatures due to insufficient power depletion. In response, at 02:41:50Z on Friday, January 19, 2024, the FOT implemented an alternate power depletion mode to prevent overcharging and/or overheating the batteries. Imaging cannot be performed in this mode and was therefore suspended. This alternate mode will continue until mid-April 2024.


More information about the Landsat 7 mission will be provided in future news headlines. This information will also be added to the Landsat 7 Extended Science Mission webpage as more details become available.  


Please contact USGS Customer Services with any questions about this news.   



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