LDCM is the most capable and advanced Landsat spacecraft yet, and its successful launch could extend the program’s legacy another decade or so into the future, researchers said.
“LDCM will continue to describe the human impact on Earth and the impact of Earth on humanity, which is vital for accommodating seven billion people on our planet,” LDCM project manager Ken Schwer, of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., told reporters Feb. 8 during a prelaunch press briefing.
The satellite costed a total of 855 million dollars and is the eight satellite to be launched in this project.
You could see the launch on live stream at NASAs website, and here is a video from the launch.
The SUV-size LDCM satellite will eventually settle into a polar orbit with an altitude of 438 miles (705 kilometers). NASA will conduct key checkouts of the spacecraft over the next three months, after which it will be turned over to the USGS for operations and renamed Landsat 8.
Landsat 8 will peer down at Earth with two sensitive instruments. The Operational Land Imager (OLI) will collect data in visible, near infrared and shortwave infrared wavelengths, while the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) will measure surface temperatures around the planet.