Inside the Integrated Processing Facility at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, both United Launch Alliance (ULA) payload fairings are secured around the Landsat 9 spacecraft on Aug. 16, 2021. Photo credit: USSF 30th Space Wing/Chris Okula
NASA and United Launch Alliance currently are reviewing the launch date for the Landsat 9 spacecraft scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. Current pandemic demands for medical liquid oxygen have impacted the delivery of the needed liquid nitrogen supply to Vandenberg by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and its supplier Airgas. Airgas converts the liquid nitrogen to gaseous nitrogen needed for launch vehicle testing and countdown sequences. DLA and Airgas now have implemented efforts to increase the supply of liquid nitrogen to Vandenberg. The Landsat 9 launch now is expected no earlier than Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021.
Landsat 9 is a joint NASA and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) mission that continues the legacy of monitoring Earth’s land and coastal regions, which began with the first Landsat in 1972. The mission will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 3 at Vandenberg.