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Question:

What are the orbit paths of the Landsat satellites?

Answer:

The Landsat 8 and Landsat 7 satellites both maintain a near-polar, sun-synchronous orbit, following the World Reference System (WRS-2). They each make an orbit in about 99 minutes, complete over 14 orbits per day, and provide complete coverage of the Earth every 16 days. There is an 8-day offset between the two satellites.

The satellites traveling on the descending (daytime) node from north to south cross the equator at 10:00 a.m. +/- 15 minutes (Landsat 7) and 10:11 a.m. +/- 15 minutes (Landsat 8) mean local time on each pass to provide maximum illumination with minimum water vapor (haze and cloud build-up).

Visit the Landsat 7 Data Users Handbook and the Landsat 8 Science Data Users Handbook for more information on the orbits of the satellites.