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November 18, 2011 - Landsat 5 Mission in Jeopardy

Over the past 10 days, problems with the amplifier have led to drastically reduced image download capabilities, a sign of impending failure. USGS engineers have suspended imaging activities for an initial period of 90 days in order to explore every possible option for restoring satellite-to-ground image transmissions. This USGS News Release provides more details.


November 18, 2011 - 27 Years of Earth Images for the World

It may not be widely known that Landsat 5 is the longest operating Earth-orbiting satellite. Launched in 1984, Landsat 5 has downlinked over five million images to the USGS and international ground stations throughout the world. The archive of observations derived from the Landsat 5 provides our international community with a strong foundation of unbiased information on global land-surface features. (Read More)


November 17, 2011 - Possible interruptions in Landsat 5 acquisitions.

Landsat 5 has been on orbit for more than 27 years. Over time, the USGS's Flight Operations Team has addressed numerous challenges as the spacecraft has aged.

Due to ongoing issues with the Landsat 5 transmitter, imaging may be interrupted in order to evaluate options for continued operations. Future information will be posted here. Please consider subscribing to the Mission Headlines RSS feed or following Landsat on Twitter.   


June 6, 2011 - Landsat 5 captures image of Massachusetts tornado

A tornado cut a massive 39-mile swath of destruction across southwest and south-central Massachusetts on June 1, 2011. (Image below courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory)

June 2011 Tornado track near Sturbridge Massachusetts

March 16, 2011 - Landsat 5 Update

As of March 16, 2011, Landsat 5 is acquiring data normally.

March 15, 2011 - Short-term Suspension of Landsat 5 Acquisitions

On March 14, 2011, Landsat 5 experienced a minor anomaly. The spacecraft is currently operating normally, but it will take a few days to return the instrument to a nominal temperature. Data is expected to be available at the end of the week.

May 7, 2010 - New Landsat 5 Scheduler

A new Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) acquisition scheduler was released on May 6, 2010. Similar to that employed by Landsat 7 operations, the new scheduler incorporates daily global cloud forecasts along with seasonal cloud climatology to increase the relative likelihood of acquiring usable imagery. This system has the goal of extending the Landsat 5 Mission while targeting scene opportunities most likely to yield high quality imagery for the global archive.


April 6, 2010 - Modification to Landsat 5’s Acquisition Plan

During Landsat 5’s first 25 years, the Thematic Mapper (TM) sensor acquired data over assigned ground stations regardless of cloud cover or season. This resulted in the collection of significant numbers of TM scenes unsuitable for analysis. In order to maximize the life of the components on the spacecraft, the U.S. Geological Survey’s Flight Operations Team has begun creating a new scheduling tool, designed to avoid acquiring data over areas considered to be too cloudy or off-season. (Read More)


February 23, 2010 - Landsat 5 Testing

The Landsat 5 Mission Operations Center will be conducting tests to document the performance of the transmitter. This test could last up to 24 days beginning Tuesday, February 23. The 24-day test will be conducted with fixed latitudes over several primarily northern hemisphere ground stations. The Landsat archive at EROS will be minimally impacted.


January 15, 2010 - Landsat 5 returns to operations

Landsat 5 has continued to downlink data successfully. Data is available for order and download beginning with acquisitions on January 10, 2010.

January 7, 2010 - Landsat 5 Transmits Data

Today, on January 7, 2010, the U.S. Geological Survey ground station at Sioux Falls, South Dakota successfully conducted a test to collect data from Landsat 5. Continued testing is planned for the next several days, downlinking additional data to Sioux Falls and international sites. EarthNow! displayed the data as they were acquired. (Read More)

December 18, 2009 - Landsat 5 Anomaly

On Friday, December 18, 2009, the transmitter on Landsat 5 experienced technical difficulties. There has been no Landsat 5 data acquired since that time. The U.S. Geological Survey Flight Operations team has extensive experience with this transmitter and is currently addressing the situation.

August 17, 2009 - Landsat 5 Update

Evaluation of the Landsat 5 data following the recent spacecraft anomaly is complete. All data collected at the Landsat Ground Station in Sioux Falls, South Dakota from Saturday, August 15, 2009 through today (Monday, August 17, 2009) are currently available for order or immediate download from EarthExplorer or GloVis. (Read More)

August 14, 2009 - Landsat 5 Update

Landsat 5 operations continued successfully last night. The Thematic Mapper instrument payload was turned on today, and imagery was successfully downlinked at the Landsat Ground Station (LGS) in Sioux Falls, SD. You will be able to monitor the passes on EarthNow. (Read More)

August 13, 2009 - Landsat 5 Anomaly

Landsat 5 experienced an anomaly in the early morning hours of August 13, 2009. The Flight Operations Team (FOT) is assessing the problem and testing spacecraft systems. No imaging will occur until further notice. (Read More)

March 1, 2009 - Happy 25th Birthday, Landsat 5!

On March 1, 1984, Landsat 5 launched onboard a Delta 3920 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. With a design life of 3 years, Landsat 5 has far exceeded its planned mission and continues to provide high-quality data for research around the world.

July 31, 2008 – RFI: Landsat Raw Data Products

The US Geological Survey seeks information to determine if there is interest by one or more commercial or non-profit vendors in offering Landsat products beyond those available from the US Geological Survey (USGS). (Read More)

February 29, 2008 - Landsat 5 Satellite Back in Action

Orbiter's Designed Three-Year Mission, Begins its 24th Year in Operation March 1!  The earth imaging satellite Landsat 5 is once again collecting and downlinking land-image data. The satellite was temporarily taken out of service in October 2007 following a cell failure within one of the satellite's two operating on-board batteries. (Read More)

January 25, 2008 - Landsat 5 Update

The USGS is pleased to announce that Landsat 5 tested imaging with the Thematic Mapper on January 10, 2008 during a pass over Brazil and Argentina. (Read More)

October 25, 2007 – Landsat 5 experienced an issue with its onboard batteries

Landsat 5 has been collecting global data sets continuously since it was launched in March 1984. The satellite has had a series of anomalies and has lost redundancy in onboard systems, but continues to collect high-quality data.

Early Saturday, October 6, 2007, the Landsat 5 Flight Operations Team (FOT) noted that battery #2 was automatically (Read More)