Satellite Technology

powered by google

Satellite Spotlight:  

Satellite Technology RSS Feed

Satellite Technology Feature Article

February 21, 2013

Landsat V Inducted into Guinness World Records

By Wayne Adam, Contributing Writer

Landsat V has landed into the Guinness World Records as the longest-operating Earth observation satellite. Launched on March 1, 1985, Landsat V completed more than 150,000 orbits and sent back over 2.5 million images of the Earth’s surface via the Multispectral Scanner (MSS) and the Thematic Mapper (TM). On December 21, 2012, Landsat V was decommissioned by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) after the spacecraft suffered gyroscope failure.

Throughout its 29-year history in space, Landsat V faced its share of challenges, including battery and star tracker failures, as well as the loss of on-board data recording, NASA officials said. The satellite's flight control team found solutions to those issues.

In a statement, Anne Castle, Department of the Interior assistant secretary for Water and Science, stated, “This is the end of an era for a remarkable satellite, and the fact that it flew for almost three decades is a testament to the NASA engineers who launched it and the USGS team who kept it flying well beyond its expected lifetime.”

The Landsat V’s longevity preserved the Landsat program through the loss of Landsat 6 in 1993, preventing the specter of a data gap before the launch of Landsat 7 in 1999.

Image via NASA

The above Landsat V image shows the Columbia Glacier in Alaska, one of many vanishing around the world. Glacier retreat is one of the most direct and understandable effects of climate change. Last year marked the 40th anniversary of the entire Landsat program, collaboration by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, which has helped scientists document the changing face of our planet and humans' impact on it, from ice loss to natural disasters to urban expansion. To date, NASA has launched eight Landsat satellites under the program, which is a joint effort with the U.S. Geological Survey.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

blog comments powered by Disqus

FREE Satellite eNewsletter

Subscribe to our free weekly Satellite Spotlight eNewsletter!

Get the latest expert news, reviews & resources. Tailored specifically for Satellite Technology and Communications.

Satellite Technology White Papers

Innovative Features Mean Major Savings for Cellular Operators Using Satellite Backhaul
With the rising cost of satellite bandwidth and the need for more of it to support an ever increasing number of voice, data and now video services, operators must seek ways to reduce both their hardware investment costs and operating expenses, especially when fierce competition forces them to provide these new services without raising their rates.

Satellite Technology Features