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

Juno, NASA's Spacecraft, Takes A Close Look At Jupiter's Moon Ganymede


From the left to the right: The mosaic and geologic maps of Ganymede, Jupiter's moon, were created using the finest available photos from NASA's Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft, as well as NASA's Galileo spacecraft. 

Credit: USGS Astrogeology Science Center/Wheaton/NASA/JPL-Caltech/USGS Astrogeology Science Center/Wheaton/NASA/JPL-Caltech 

After more than 20 years, the first of the gas-giant orbiter's back-to-back flybys will deliver a close encounter with the gigantic moon. 

NASA's Juno spacecraft will pass within 645 miles (1,038 kilometers) of Jupiter's biggest moon, Ganymede, on Monday, June 7 at 1:35 p.m. EDT (10:35 a.m. PDT). Since NASA's Galileo spacecraft made its last near approach to the solar system's largest natural satellite on May 20, 2000, the flyby will be the closest a spacecraft has gotten near the solar system's greatest natural satellite. 

The solar-powered spacecraft's flyby will provide insights about the moon's composition, ionosphere, magnetosphere, and ice shell, in addition to stunning photographs. Future missions to the Jovian system will benefit from Juno's studies of the radiation environment around the moon. 

Ganymede is the only moon in the solar system with its own magnetosphere, a bubble-shaped area of charged particles around the celestial body that is larger than Mercury. “Juno contains a suite of sensitive equipment capable of observing Ganymede in ways never previously possible,” stated Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio Principal Investigator Scott Bolton. 

“By flying so close, we will bring Ganymede exploration into the twenty-first century, complementing future missions with our unique sensors and assisting in the preparation of the next generation of missions to the Jovian system, including NASA's Europa Clipper and ESA's Jupiter ICy moons Explorer [JUICE] mission.” 

About three hours before the spacecraft's closest approach, Juno's science equipment will begin gathering data. Juno's Microwave Radiometer (MWR) will gaze through Ganymede's water-ice crust, gathering data on its composition and temperature, alongside the Ultraviolet Spectrograph (UVS) and Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) sensors. 

A spinning Ganymede globe with a geologic chart placed over a global color mosaic is animated. Credit: USGS Astrogeology Science Center/Wheaton/ASU/NASA/JPL-Caltech/USGS Astrogeology Science Center/Wheaton/ASU/NASA/JPL-Caltech 

“The ice shell of Ganymede contains some light and dark parts, implying that certain parts may be pure ice while others include filthy ice,” Bolton explained. 

“MWR will conduct the first comprehensive study of how ice composition and structure change with depth, leading to a deeper understanding of how the ice shell originates and the mechanisms that resurface the ice over time.” 

The findings will be used to supplement those from ESA's upcoming JUICE mission, which will study ice using radar at various wavelengths when it launches in 2032 to become the first spacecraft to circle a moon other than Earth's Moon. 

Juno's X-band and Ka-band radio frequencies will be utilized in a radio occultation experiment to study the moon's fragile ionosphere (the outer layer of an atmosphere where gases are excited by solar radiation to form ions, which have an electrical charge). 

“As Juno travels behind Ganymede, radio signals will travel over Ganymede's ionosphere, generating modest variations in frequency that should be picked up by two antennas at the Deep Space Network's Canberra complex in Australia,” said Dustin Buccino, a Juno mission signal analysis engineer at JPL. “We might be able to grasp the relationship between Ganymede's ionosphere, its intrinsic magnetic field, and Jupiter's magnetosphere if we can monitor this change.” 

With NASA's interactive Eyes on the Solar System, you can see where Juno is right now. 

The Juno spacecraft is a dynamic technical wonder, with three huge blades reaching out 66 feet (20 meters) from its cylindrical, six-sided body, spinning to keep itself steady as it executes oval-shaped orbits around Jupiter. 

Juno's Stellar Reference Unit (SRU) navigation camera is normally responsible for keeping the Jupiter spacecraft on track, but it will perform double duty during the flyby. 

Along with its navigational functions, the camera will collect information on the high-energy radiation environment in the region surrounding Ganymede by capturing a particular collection of photos. 

The camera is adequately insulated against radiation that may otherwise harm it. “In Jupiter's harsh radiation environment, the traces from penetrating high-energy particles appear in the photos as dots, squiggles, and streaks — like static on a television screen. 

According to Heidi Becker, Juno's radiation monitoring lead at JPL, "we extract these radiation-induced noise patterns from SRU photos to obtain diagnostic pictures of the radiation levels encountered by Juno." 

Meanwhile, the Advanced Stellar Compass camera, developed by the Technical University of Denmark, will count very intense electrons that pass through its shielding at a quarter-second interval. The JunoCam imager has also been enlisted. 

The camera was designed to transmit the thrill and beauty of Jupiter exploration to the public, but it has also given a wealth of essential research throughout the mission's almost five-year stay there. JunoCam will capture photographs at a resolution comparable to the best from Voyager and Galileo for the Ganymede flyby. 

The Juno research team will examine the photographs and compare them to those taken by earlier missions, seeking for changes in surface characteristics that may have happened over four decades or more. 

Any changes in the pattern of craters on the surface might aid astronomers in better understanding the present population of objects that collide with moons in the outer solar system. 

Due to the speed of the flyby, the frozen moon will change from a point of light to a visible disk and back to a point of light in roughly 25 minutes from JunoCam's perspective. 

There's just enough time for five photographs in that amount of time. “Things move quickly in the area of flybys, and we have two back-to-back flybys coming up next week. As a result, every second counts,” stated Juno Mission Manager Matt Johnson of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 

“On Monday, we'll fly through Ganymede at about 12 miles per second (19 kilometers per second). We're making our 33rd scientific flyby of Jupiter in less than 24 hours, swooping low over the cloud tops at around 36 miles per second (58 kilometers per second). It's going to be a roller coaster.” even more Concerning the Mission. 

The Juno mission is managed by JPL, a subsidiary of Caltech in Pasadena, California, for the principle investigator, Scott J. Bolton of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. Juno is part of NASA's New Frontiers Program, which is administered for the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. 

The spacecraft was manufactured and is operated by Lockheed Martin Space in Denver. 


Posted by Jai Krishna Ponnappan

More data on Juno may be found at, for further details.

Follow the mission on social media at 

and on Twitter at 

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