Encyclopedia Astronautica
Landsat 1-2-3



landsat3.jpg
Landsat 3
Credit: NASA
American earth land resources satellite. 3 launches, 1972.07.23 (Landsat 1) to 1978.03.05 (Landsat 3). The first 3 Landsat missions were also known as the Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS) series.

Their images demonstrated the usefulness of remote sensing data for land surveys, land management, water resource planning, agricultural forecasting, forest management, sea ice movement, and cartography.

When Landsat 1 was finally removed from service in January 1978 due to tape recorder faults, it had returned over 300,000 images. Landsat 2 was removed from service on 25 February 1982, and Landsat 3 was removed from service on 31 March 1983. Archived images from these missions were available through EOSAT.

The spacecraft design had significant inheritance from the Nimbus program (also manufactured by General Electric). The satellites were 3-axis stabilized using 4 momentum wheels to 0.7 deg accuracy. Twin solar paddles (single-axis articulation) provided 1000 W (BOL peak), 515 W (BOL ave) and recharged NiCd batteries. S-Band and VHF communications were via a 1 W transponder. The hydrazine propulsion system had 3 thrusters. Data downlink rate was 15 Mbps. The payload included the Carried Return Beam Vidicon (RBV) and Multi-Spectral Scanner (MSS) imaging sensors. The MSS covered 0.5 to 12.6 m and provided 75 m resolution at best with a 185 km swath width. The RBV covered 0.5 to 0.75 m and provided 40 m resolution with a 185 km swath width. Payload mass was about 150 kg.

Gross mass: 910 kg (2,000 lb).
Height: 3.02 m (9.90 ft).
Span: 4.00 m (13.10 ft).
First Launch: 1972.07.23.
Last Launch: 1978.03.05.
Number: 3 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Delta The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Development began in 1955 and it continued in service in the 21st Century despite numerous candidate replacements. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Delta American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Delta began as Thor, a crash December 1955 program to produce an intermediate range ballistic missile using existing components, which flew thirteen months after go-ahead. Fifteen months after that, a space launch version flew, using an existing upper stage. The addition of solid rocket boosters allowed the Thor core and Able/Delta upper stages to be stretched. Costs were kept down by using first and second-stage rocket engines surplus to the Apollo program in the 1970's. Continuous introduction of new 'existing' technology over the years resulted in an incredible evolution - the payload into a geosynchronous transfer orbit increasing from 68 kg in 1962 to 3810 kg by 2002. Delta survived innumerable attempts to kill the program and replace it with 'more rationale' alternatives. By 2008 nearly 1,000 boosters had flown over a fifty-year career, and cancellation was again announced. More...
  • Delta 0900 American orbital launch vehicle. Three stage vehicle consisting of 9 x Castor 2 + 1 x LT Thor DSV-2L-1C + 1 x DSV-3N-4 More...
  • Delta 2910 American orbital launch vehicle. Three stage vehicle consisting of 9 x Castor 2 + 1 x ELT Thor/RS-27 + 1 x Delta P /TR-201 More...
  • Delta 0100 American orbital launch vehicle. The military Thor-Delta vehicles were developed into the first of a series of commercial satellite launch vehicles. The Delta 0100 series featured Castor 2 solid propellant strap-ons and a Long Tank Thor core with MB-3 engine. More...
  • Delta 2000 American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta 2000 series used Castor 2 strap-ons together with an Extended Long Tank core equipped with the more powerful RS-27 engine. This engine was derived from surplus H-1 engines intended for the Saturn IB booster of the Apollo programme. The Delta P upper stage was built by Douglas and used surplus Apollo lunar module engines from TRW. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...

Associated Programs
Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Vandenberg Vandenberg Air Force Base is located on the Central Coast of California about 240 km northwest of Los Angeles. It is used for launches of unmanned government and commercial satellites into polar orbit and intercontinental ballistic missile test launches toward the Kwajalein Atoll. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC2W Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a space launch complex in 1966. More...

Landsat 1-2-3 Chronology


1972 July 23 - . 18:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 0900. LV Configuration: Delta 0900 574/D89.
  • Landsat 1 - . Payload: ERTS A. Mass: 816 kg (1,798 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Landsat. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft: Landsat 1-2-3. USAF Sat Cat: 6126 . COSPAR: 1972-058A. Apogee: 909 km (564 mi). Perigee: 898 km (557 mi). Inclination: 99.1000 deg. Period: 103.10 min. Summary: Earth Resources Technology Satellite. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

1975 January 22 - . 17:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 2910. LV Configuration: Delta 2910 598/D107.
  • Landsat 2 - . Payload: Landsat B. Mass: 953 kg (2,101 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Landsat. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft: Landsat 1-2-3. USAF Sat Cat: 7615 . COSPAR: 1975-004A. Apogee: 913 km (567 mi). Perigee: 900 km (550 mi). Inclination: 99.3000 deg. Period: 103.10 min. Summary: Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

1978 January - .
  • Landsat 1 removed from service. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Landsat 1-2-3. Summary: Landsat 1 was finally removed from service in January 1978 due to tape recorder faults. It had returned over 300,000 images..

1978 March 5 - . 17:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 2910. LV Configuration: Delta 2910 621/D139.
  • Landsat 3 - . Payload: Landsat C. Mass: 960 kg (2,110 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Program: Landsat. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft: Landsat 1-2-3. USAF Sat Cat: 10702 . COSPAR: 1978-026A. Apogee: 915 km (568 mi). Perigee: 895 km (556 mi). Inclination: 98.9000 deg. Period: 103.10 min. Summary: Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

1982 February 25 - .
1983 March 31 - .
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