California – Sept. 27, 2021 – Designed and manufactured by Northrop Grumman Corporation, Landsat 9, the latest satellite in the Landsat series was successfully launched today aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 401 rocket. Landsat 9 will join its sister satellite, Landsat 8 in orbit in collecting images from across the planet every eight days.
Landsat 9, a joint mission between NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), continues the program’s role of repeat global observations for monitoring, understanding and managing Earth’s natural resources. This is the fourth Landsat satellite built by Northrop Grumman for NASA.
“Landsat data constitutes the longest continuous record of Earth’s surface as seen from space. As a trusted NASA partner, this spacecraft builds upon Northrop Grumman’s long history of delivering Earth observing spacecraft and continues the legacy of Landsat for years to come,”
said Steve Krein, vice president, civil and commercial satellites, Northrop Grumman.
The Landsat 9 spacecraft will collect space-based images and data that will aid researchers in areas including agriculture, land use mapping, forestry and water resource management. Landsat 9 is based on Northrop Grumman’s flight proven LEOStar-3 platform, and extensively leverages the design of the Landsat 8 spacecraft, also built by Northrop Grumman.
Leading up to launch, the company integrated the customer-furnished Operational Land Imager (OLI-2) and Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS-2) instruments, provided the satellite’s propellant tank, developed the solar array that powers the spacecraft and conducted full observatory environmental testing. Northrop Grumman completed work on the Landsat 9 satellite at its Gilbert, Arizona, San Diego, Commerce and Goleta, California facilities.
For the ULA Atlas V rocket, Northrop Grumman produced the 10-foot diameter composite heat shield, which provides higher performance with lower weight, and essential protection for the first stage of the launch vehicle from engine exhaust temperatures in excess of 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The assembly was fabricated using advanced fiber placement manufacturing techniques at Northrop Grumman’s Iuka, Mississippi facility. The company also manufactured the attitude control propellant tank for the Atlas V at its Commerce, California facility.
Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace to meet the ever evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 90,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products and services.
Courtesy of Northrop Grumman