Happy Brithday Landsat 5

Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 10:56:16

Landsat 5 has reached the remarkable age of 25, having been launched 1 March 1984, and remains operational. In satellite remote sensing this is an unheard of feat, particularly when you consider that the design life was just 3 years. A nice article detailing the success of the mission has been written by NASA. This long lived success is even more important in the context of the launch failure of Landsat 6 in 1993. And whilst Landsat 7 launched successfully in 1999, the failure of the scan line collector in 2003 severely restricted its usefulness. That said the USGS reckons they have enough fuel for both satellites to operate until 2012, which is just as well as Landsat 8 is not due for launch until 2011.

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