NASA And USGS Launch Gilbert-Built Landsat 9

By Nicholas Gerbis
Published: Wednesday, September 29, 2021 - 5:00pm
Updated: Wednesday, September 29, 2021 - 5:02pm

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The Landsat 9 satellite lifts off Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The Landsat 9 mission will measure the changing landscapes of our home planet.

On Monday, NASA successfully launched its Landsat 9 satellite. The spacecraft was built, tested and fitted with instruments by Northrop Grumman’s Satellite Manufacturing Facility in Gilbert.

NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey have maintained a series of Landsat orbiters for nearly 50 years.

Typically operating in pairs, the satellites orbit from pole to pole, scanning the planet in visible and non-visible wavelengths as it rotates beneath them.

Landsats 8 and 9 will image 115-mile-wide swaths on each pass, building a full picture of Earth's surface every 8 days.

The program's lengthy observational record makes it invaluable for agricultural and land use research, and for informing decisions on issues like water use, wildfires, coral reef degradation, glacial retreat and tropical deforestation.

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