Meteorologists with the U.S. Space Force’s Space Launch Delta 30 predict a 90% percent chance of favorable weather for launch on Monday morning, with liftoff winds around 10 knots posing the main concern.
Launch coverage will begin at 10:30 a.m. PDT (1:30 p.m. EDT) on Sept. 27. You can follow the countdown milestones here on the blog and on the NASA website.
Stay connected with the mission on social media, and let people know you’re following it on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram using the hashtag #Landsat and tag these accounts:
Officials from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will discuss the launch of the Landsat 9 satellite during a science briefing at 10 a.m. PDT (1 p.m. EDT) Friday, Sept. 24.
The Landsat 9 launch is targeted to lift off Monday, Sept. 27, from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, with the 30-minute launch window starting at 11:11 a.m. PDT (2:11 p.m. EDT). The science briefing will air live on NASA TV, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.
Data from Landsat 9 will add to nearly 50 years of free and publicly available data from the Landsat program. The Landsat program is the longest-running enterprise for acquisition of satellite imagery of Earth. It is a joint NASA/USGS program. Researchers harmonize Landsat data to detect the footprint of human activities and measure the effects of climate change on land over decades.
Once fully operational in orbit, Landsat 9 will replace Landsat 7 and join its sister satellite, Landsat 8, in continuing to collect data from across the planet every eight days. This calibrated data will continue the Landsat program’s critical role in monitoring land use and helping decision-makers manage essential resources including crops, water resources, and forests.
Briefing participants, in speaking order, are:
Jeff Masek, Project Scientist, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
Chris Crawford, Project Scientist, USGS
Alyssa Whitcraft, Associate Director and Program Manager, NASA Harvest Consortium
Del Jenstrom, Landsat 9 Project Manager, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
Brian Sauer, Landsat 9 Project Manager, USGS
Sabrina Chapman, Manager, System Engineering, Northrop Grumman Space Systems
Sarah Lipscy, OLI-2 Senior Engineer, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at Kennedy Space Center, is managing the launch. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center will manage the mission. Teams from Goddard also built and tested one of the two instruments on Landsat 9, the Thermal Infrared Sensor 2 (TIRS-2) instrument. TIRS-2 will use thermal imaging to make measurements that are used to calculate soil moisture and detect the health of plants.
The USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, will operate the mission and manage the ground system, including maintaining the Landsat archive. Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colorado, built and tested the Operational Land Imager 2 (OLI-2) instrument, another imaging sensor that provides data in the visible, near infrared, and shortwave infrared portions of the spectrum. United Launch Alliance is the rocket provider for Landsat 9’s launch. Northrop Grumman in Gilbert, Arizona, built the Landsat 9 spacecraft, integrated it with instruments, and tested the observatory.
NASA and United Launch Alliance currently are reviewing the launch date for the Landsat 9 spacecraft scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. Attaching the spacecraft to the Atlas V rocket has been delayed due to out-of-tolerance high winds for the operation and conflicts with other customers using the Western Range.
The Landsat 9 mission now is expected to launch from Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex 3 no earlier than Monday, Sept. 27, 2021.
Landsat 9 is a joint NASA and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) mission that continues the legacy of monitoring Earth’s land and coastal regions, which began with the first Landsat in 1972.