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Advanced satellite to collect data on Earth’s natural resources

Posted on 27 Oct 2021 and read 1094 times
Advanced satellite to collect data on Earth’s natural resourcesDesigned and manufactured by Northrop Grumman Corp, Landsat 9 — the latest satellite in the Landsat series — was successfully launched at the end of last month 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 US Geological Survey (USGS), continues the programme’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 9 will collect space-based images and data that will aid researchers in areas including agriculture, land use mapping, forestry and water resource management. The satellite 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, which completed work on the Landsat 9 satellite at its facilities in Gilbert (Arizona), and San Diego, Commerce and Goleta in California.

For the ULA Atlas V rocket, Northrop Grumman produced the 10ft-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°F.

The assembly was fabricated using advanced fibre 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 facility.