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March 31, 2022

Since Landsat 7's launch over 22 years ago on April 15, 1999, the satellite has completed more than 121,000 orbits, and the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) sensor onboard has acquired data that have generated over 3.1 million scenes available to users from the USGS Landsat archive.

 

Landsat 7 Satellite Orbit Lowering Illustration
This graphic displays how the Landsat 7 spacecraft orbit lowers following each of the spacecraft burns. (Click to enlarge)

With Landsat 8 (launched February 11, 2013), and Landsat 9 (launched September 27, 2021) both successfully acquiring Earth imaging data, the time has come for Landsat 7 to enter the next phase of its mission. 

On April 6, 2022, the ETM+ sensor will be placed into “stand-by” mode as a series of spacecraft burns are performed throughout the month of April to lower the satellite’s orbit by 8 kilometers (see illustration). 

Data acquired after the satellite reaches the lower servicing orbit will be assessed for data quality and usability. More information will be provided after assessments are completed. 

After entering the lower orbit, the Landsat 7 satellite will be available for servicing by NASA's On-Orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing-1 (OSAM-1) mission.

As 2022 progresses, additional notices will be posted related to the conclusion of the Landsat 7 mission.

 

 

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