USGS, NASA Preparing To Commit to Launch Date, Cost For Landsat 9

Landsat 9 Satellite. Image Credit: NASA/Goddard

December 6, 2017 – NASA and USGS officials are meeting December 6, 2017 at NASA Headquarters in Washington D.C., at which time NASA will be asked to commit to a total cost and launch date for Landsat 9.

This is a significant milestone for the Landsat 9 mission as NASA’s Agency Program Management Council (APMC) are asked to approve Key Decision Point-C (KDP-C), which formally transitions the joint NASA and USGS mission from preliminary design to final design and implementation, and commits to Congress NASA’s total cost for the mission and a launch date.

As a Category 1 mission (the highest category for a NASA mission), approval of the KDP-C is required by Lightfoot and the AMPC. A decision memo will be finalized at the December 6 meeting and then forwarded to Congress the APMC hears project status reports.

On October 19, 2017, NASA’s Launch Services Program announced that it had selected United Launch Alliance’s (ULA’s) Atlas V vehicle to launch the Landsat 9 mission, the ninth in the satellite program providing the longest continuous global record of Earth’s surface.

The Landsat program is a multi-satellite partnership between NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey to monitor, understand, and manage the land resources needed to sustain human life. Landsat is the only U.S. satellite system designed and operated to repeatedly observe the global land surface at a moderate scale that shows both natural and human-induced change. Every day, Landsat satellites provide essential information to help land managers and policy makers make wise decisions about Earth’s resources and the environment.