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September 20-26, 2021 / Vol 40, No 38 / Hawai`i Island, USA

17 Sep 2021, 20:03 UTC
September 20-26, 2021 / Vol 40, No 38 / Hawai`i Island, USA
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Climate in Focus, Landsat Set to Continue 50-Year Earth Observation Mission
As NASA / USGS global monitoring collaboration nears half century, latest version Landsat 9 is to take off from Vandenberg Space Force Base on September 27 – controlled remotely by Launch Services Program at KSC, riding on ULA Atlas V 401. The 2.6 metric ton spacecraft, built by Northrup Grumman, is to provide observational continuity from 705km SSO as Landsat 8 reaches the end of fuel supply, having surpassed 5-year nominal mission duration. Operational Land Imager (OLI-2) and Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS-2) instruments are capable of recording in a total of eleven spectral bands: OLI-2, developed by Ball Aerospace, registers 9 visible and infrared wavelengths from 0.435–2.294μm with 30m resolution (with the exception of a panchromatic band with 15m resolution); TIRS-2, built at Goddard Space Flight Center, will detect infrared thermals from 10.60–12.51μm with 100m resolution (30m with post processing). The mission comes as UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change determines global warming ‘unequivocally’ anthropogenic in cause and world and national leaders grow increasingly adamant that data-driven solutions to address global warming be implemented. National Space Council Executive Secretary Chirag Parikh has indicated USA VP Kamala Harris considers continuity ...

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