Showing posts with label Earth Observation Satellite. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Earth Observation Satellite. Show all posts

LANDSAT-9: NASA's Latest Earth Observation Satellite In Orbit.

Landsat 9, a NASA satellite designed to monitor the Earth's land surface, successfully launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California at 2:12 p.m. EDT Monday, 27th Sept., 2021. 

Landsat 9 was launched from Vandenberg's Space Launch Complex 3E on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket as part of a cooperative mission with the United States Geological Survey (USGS). 

Around 83 minutes after launch, the Svalbard satellite-monitoring ground station in Norway received signals from the spacecraft. 

As it approaches its ultimate orbital height of 438 miles, Landsat 9 is operating as anticipated (705 kilometers). 

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said, "NASA utilizes the unique assets of our own unparalleled fleet, as well as the equipment of other countries, to study our own planet and its climatic systems." 

“Landsat 9 will take this historic and important worldwide initiative to the next level, with a 50-year data bank to build on. We are excited to collaborate with our colleagues at the USGS and the Department of the Interior on Landsat Next again, since we never stop striving to better understand our planet.” 

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland said, "Today's successful launch is a major milestone in the nearly 50-year joint partnership between USGS and NASA, who have partnered for decades to collect valuable scientific information and use that data to shape policy with the utmost scientific integrity." 

Landsat 9 will offer data and images to assist make science-based choices on critical problems such as: 

    1. water usage, 
    2. wildfire effects, 
    3. coral reef degradation, 
    4. glacier and ice-shelf retreat, 
    5. and tropical deforestation as the consequences of the climate crisis increase in the United States and across the world. 

In 1972, the first Landsat satellite was launched. 

Since then, NASA has maintained a Landsat satellite in orbit to gather pictures of the physical stuff that covers our planet's surface, as well as changes in land use. 

Researchers may use these pictures to track agricultural production, forest size and health, water quality, coral reef ecosystem health, and glacier movements, among other things. 

Karen St. Germain, head of NASA's Earth Science Division in Washington, stated, "The Landsat mission is unlike any other." 

“Landsat satellites have been orbiting our globe for almost 50 years, giving an unmatched record of how its surface has altered across timeframes ranging from days to decades. 

We've been able to offer continuous and timely data for customers ranging from farmers to resource managers and scientists because to our collaboration with the USGS. 

In a changing environment, this data may help us comprehend, forecast, and prepare for the future.”

In orbit, Landsat 9 joins its sister spacecraft, Landsat 8. 

Every eight days, the two satellites will work together to gather pictures covering the whole globe. 

“When it comes to monitoring our changing globe, Landsat 9 will be our new eyes in the sky,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA's assistant administrator for science. 

By collaborating with other Landsat satellites and our European Space Agency colleagues who run the Sentintel-2 satellites, we're obtaining a more complete view of Earth than ever before. 

We'll get observations of every given location on our globe every two days thanks to these satellites cooperating in space. 

This is critical for monitoring things like crop growth and assisting decision-makers in monitoring Earth's general health and natural resources.” 

The sensors on board Landsat 9 – the Operational Land Imager 2 (OLI-2) and the Thermal Infrared Sensor 2 (TIRS-2) – measure 11 wavelengths of light reflected or radiated off Earth's surface, including visible and non-visible wavelengths. 

These sensors will record sights over a 115-mile span as the satellite circles (185 kilometers). 

In these pictures, each pixel represents a 98-foot (30-meter) square, about the size of a baseball infield. 

Resource managers will be able to identify most agricultural fields in the United States at that resolution. 

“Launches are always thrilling, and today was no exception,” NASA Landsat 9 project scientist Jeff Masek said. 

“However, the greatest part for me as a scientist will be when the satellite begins providing the data that people have been waiting for, further cementing Landsat's legendary reputation among data users.”

The USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, analyzes and stores data from the sensors, adding it to the five decades of Landsat data. 

Since its debut in 2008, Landsat pictures and associated data have received over 100 million downloads thanks to this strategy. 

The Landsat 9 mission is overseen by NASA. 

The TIRS-2 instrument was also developed and tested at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. 

The mission was launched by NASA's Launch Services Program, which is headquartered at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 

The mission will be operated by EROS, which will also handle the ground system and maintain the Landsat archive. 

The OLI-2 instrument was developed and tested by Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colorado. 

The launch of Landsat 9 will be carried out by United Launch Alliance. 

The Landsat 9 satellite was constructed, fitted with sensors, and tested by Northrop Grumman in Gilbert, Arizona. 

For additional information about Landsat 9, go to:

~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan

You may also want to read more about space based systems here.


The GISAT-1 will be the country's first geostationary orbiting sky eye or earth observation satellite.
After the GISAT-1 launch, the EOS-4 or Risat-1A.
Earth Observation Satellite - GISAT-1 Mission


UPDATE (6 am IST, Aug. 12th 2021) - Anomaly observed during the cryogenic engine phase of the GSLV F-10 launch vehicle. Mission could not be completed successfully as planned.

According to authorities, the Indian space agency is conducting pre-rocket launch operations at its rocket port in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, in preparation for the launch of its earth observation satellite EOS-03 or Geo Imaging Satellite-1 (GISAT-1) early on Thursday. 

  • While ISRO authorities remain tight-lipped on the launch,  it has been learned that the rocket—the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-F10 (GSLV-F10)—is on its way to the second launch pad, laden with GISAT-1, and is set to blast off at 5.43 a.m. 

The GISAT-1 will be the country's first geostationary orbiting sky eye or earth observation satellite. 

  • Just over 18 minutes into its journey, the 51.70-meter-tall, 416-ton GSLV-F10 will put GISAT-1 in the geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO), from where the satellite will be lifted to its ultimate location using its onboard engines. 
  • In contrast to other remote sensing satellites in a lower orbit that can only come over a location at regular intervals, once put in geostationary orbit, the satellite will keep a constant eye on the areas of interest, moving in rhythm with the rotation of the globe and so seeming stationary. 

The GISAT-1 was originally scheduled to launch on March 5, 2020, however the ISRO announced the mission's delay only hours before launch due to a technical issue. 

  • The COVID-19 epidemic and subsequent lockdown caused the mission to be postponed. 
  • It was necessary to disassemble and clean up the rocket. 
  • Following that, the GISAT-1 launch was scheduled for March 2021, however it was again postponed due to issues with the satellite's battery. 
  • The satellite and rocket were getting prepared for their flight at Sriharikota after the battery was replaced when the second wave of COVID-19 swept in, infecting several at the rocket launch center. 

The 2,268 kilogram GISAT-1, according to the Indian space agency, would give a real-time picture of a wide area of the region of interest at regular intervals. 

  • It will also allow for immediate monitoring of natural catastrophes, episodic occurrences, and any other short-term phenomena. 
  • The satellite's payload imaging sensors will include a 42-meter resolution six-band multi-spectral visible and near-infrared sensor, 318-meter resolution 158-band hyper-spectral visible and near-infrared sensor, and 191-meter resolution 256-band hyper-spectral short wave infrared sensor. 
  • For the first time, a four-metre diameter Ogive shaped payload fairing (heat shield) constructed of composite would be utilized in the rocket, according to ISRO. 

After the GISAT-1 launch, the EOS-4 or Risat-1A.

RISAT 1A  is a radar imaging satellite with Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) that can capture images day and night seeing through clouds, would be launched, according to ISRO. 

  • The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) will launch the Risat-1A satellite, which weighs over 1,800 kg, in September, according to ISRO. 
  • The Risat-1A is a follow-on microwave remote sensing satellite to Risat-1, and is designed to guarantee SAR in C-Band continuity while also delivering microwave data to the user community for operational purposes. 
  • With a mission life of five years and the capacity to operate day, night, and in all weather situations, the satellite will play a critical role in the nation's defense. 

Among other things, the satellite features high-capacity data handling systems and storage devices. 

  • The satellite, according to the ISRO, will offer image data for a variety of applications linked to land, water, and the environment, including agriculture, forestry, and water resource management. 
  • An ISRO official previously said that an earth observation satellite would transmit images that will be utilized by various agencies based on their requirements. 
  • In 2012, a PSLV rocket launched the 1,858 kg Risat-1 satellite. It lasted five years on the mission.


From the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota, India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-F10 (GSLV-F10) will launch the Geo Imaging Satellite-1 (GISAT-1) satellite. From the Second Launch Pad, the launch will take place.

  • For the first time in GSLV history, a 4 meter diameter Ogive shaped payload fairing (OPLF) is flown to accommodate a larger spacecraft.
  • GISAT-1 is the first state-of-the-art agile Earth observation satellite that GSLV-F10 will put into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. The satellite will next use its onboard propulsion engine to reach geostationary orbit.


170 km perigee

36,297 km Apogee

19.4 degrees of inclination

Earth Observation Satellite - GISAT-1 Mission

GISAT-1 is the world's first state-of-the-art agile Earth observation satellite to be launched from Geostationary Orbit.

Mission Objectives 



• To offer regular imaging of a wide area region of interest in near real time.

• To keep track of natural catastrophes, episodic events, and any other short-term occurrences.

• Obtaining spectral fingerprints for agriculture, forestry, mineralogy, disaster warning, cloud characteristics, snow and glaciers, and oceanography.

The satellite is built on a modified I-2k bus that can carry multispectral and hyperspectral payloads in several bands with better spatial and temporal resolution.

You may also want to read more about space based systems here.

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