[Via Satellite 04-17-2015] NASA and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) have started working on the Landsat 9 Earth observation satellite, with a launch planned for 2023. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. is leading the Landsat 9 flight segment. In addition to building the satellite, the space agency is also responsible for its launch and the initial check-out and commissioning. USGS will operate the Landsat 9 satellite and handling processing, archiving, and the free distribution of mission data.
NASA Goddard is also building a Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) as a “free-flyer” satellite designed to closely match the TIRS instrument on Landsat 8. The Landsat 8 TIRS instrument had a three-year lifespan, whereas the upcoming free flyer is being designed for five years to ensure mission continuity. The free-flyer is scheduled to launch in 2019.
“With a launch in 2023, Landsat 9 would propel the program past 50 years of collecting global land cover data,” said Jeffrey Masek, Landsat 9 project scientist at NASA Goddard.
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