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Landsat 9 Commissioning and Operations Phases after Launch

Detailed Description

This graphic displays the activities that start as soon as the Landsat 9 satellite is launched. During the 280-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 ~280 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.

+60-120 Days:

Throughout days 60-120 post launch, verification tests are conducted to ensure routine operations will be successful.

+120-130 Days:

At 120 days, the On-orbit Acceptance Review (OAR) and Post-Launch Assessment Review (PLAR) occur.

130-280 Days:

At 130 days the Instrument Transition and Handover Review (ITHR) occurs. After the review, 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 become available at no cost to all users through the USGS data portals.

+280 Days:

After ~280 days, the final review, the Mission Transition and Handover Review (MTHR) occurs. The MTHR is an important event, after which responsibility and ownership of the Landsat 9 Mission is transferred from NASA to the USGS.


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


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