Landsat 9 Launch

Important Facts about Landsat 9 Satellite

Science Instruments:  OLI-2; TIRS-2
OLI-2 build: Ball Aerospace & Technology Corp.
TIRS-2 build: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Design Life: 5 years
Spacecraft Provider:Northrop Grumman
Image Data: > 700 scenes per day
Launch Date: Sept. 27, 2021
Launch Vehicle: United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401
Orbit: near-polar, sun-synchronous at an altitude of 438 miles (705 km)
Orbital Inclination: 98.2˚
Spacecraft Speed: 16,760 mi/hr (26,972 km/hr),
Consumables:10 years

Landsat-9 is the latest remote sensing satellite of the Landsat series. which was launched on 27 September 2021 at 1:12 PM CST from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on-board a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket. It will continuously capture images of Earth’s surface, returning back data on natural and man-made changes to our planet. Landsat 9 largely replicates its predecessor Landsat 8 to reduce the build time and a risk of a gap in observations.

Landsat 9 has two science instruments, which are the same instruments as the Landsat 8 satellite but with some improvements.

Source- USGS
Operational Land Imager-2 (OLI-2) for reflective band data.

OLI-2 has made by Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Which will capture observations of the planet in visible, near-infrared and shortwave-infrared light. It is also a slightly improved signal-to-noise ratio over Landsat 8’s OLI.

Thermal Infrared Sensor-2 (TIRS-2) for the thermal infrared bands.

TIRS-2 will measure the thermal infrared radiation, or heat (brightness temperature), of Earth’s surfaces. The instrument was built at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. TIRS-2 will provide an upgraded version of the Landsat 8 TIRS instrument, by improving reliability and correcting known issues with stray light.

It is a Class-B instrument with a (05) five-year design life and a key improvement of stray light correction, an issue that was discovered on Landsat 8’s TIRS (Landsat 8’s TIRS is a Class-C instrument with a three-year design life).

  • Landsat 9 has sophisticated imaging capability than earlier Landsat missions, which will allow for more valuable Earth observations.
  • Both instruments have sensors with moderate spatial resolution—15 m (49 ft), 30 m (98 ft), and 100 m (328 ft) depending on spectral band—and the ability to detect a higher range in intensity than Landsat – 8. Landsat-9 will be placed in an orbit that it is (08) eight days out of phase with Landsat 8 to increase temporal coverage of observations.

Landsat 9 Spectral Properties

The Multispectral Scanner System (MSS) aboard Landsats 1–5 had four bands. The Thematic Mapper (TM) aboard Landsats 4 & 5 had seven bands. Landsat 7’s Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) has 8 bands and Landsats 8 & 9 have 11 bands. The atmospheric transmission values for this graphic were calculated using MODTRAN for a summertime mid-latitude hazy atmosphere (circa 5 km visibility).

Landsat 9 Band Combinations

Landsat-7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) | Landsat-8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS )

LANDSAT-5 & 4 Thematic Mapper (TM)

Band NumberDescriptionWavelengthResolution
Band 1Visible blue0.45 to 0.52 µm30 meter
Band 2Visible green0.52 to 0.60 µm30 meter
Band 3Visible red0.63 to 0.69 µm30 meter
Band 4Near-infrared0.76 to 0.90 µm30 meter
Band 5Short-wave infrared1.55 to 1.75 µm30 meter
Band 6Thermal10.4 to 12.3 µm120 meter
Band 7Short-wave infrared2.08 to 2.35 µm30 meter

Landsat 1-3 Multispectral Scanner (MSS)

Band NumberDescriptionWavelengthResolution
Band 4Visible green0.5 to 0.6 µm60 meter
Band 5Visible red0.6 to 0.7 µm60 meter
Band 6Near-infrared0.7 to 0.8 µm60 meter
Band 7Near-infrared0.8 to 1.1 µm60 meter


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