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Landsat 5



The Landsat 5 system was an experimental earth resources monitoring system with the new powerful remote-sensing capabilities of the thematic mapper (TM), and it provides a transition for both foreign and domestic users from the multispectral scanner (MSS) data (which are also part of the instrument package) to the higher resolution and data rate of the TM. It had a complete end-to-end highly automated data system, which was designed to be a new generation system, and was a major step forward in global remote-sensing applications. The Landsat 5 mission consisted of an orbiting satellite (space segment) with the necessary wideband data links and support systems, and a ground segment. The Landsat 5 was an identical back-up for Landsat 4 (NSSDC ID 82-072A). The Landsat 5 space segment consisted of two major systems: (1) the instrument module, containing the instruments together with the mission unique subsystems, such as the solar array and drive, the TDRS antenna, the wide-band module (WBM), and the global positioning system (GPS), and (2) the multimission modular spacecraft (MMS) that contained the modularized and standardized power, propulsion, attitude control, and communications and data handling subsystems. When the Landsat 5 satellite was launched, it was deployed at an orbital altitude of 705.3 km, with inclination of 98.2 deg, and with a descending node equatorial crossing at 9:30 a.m. local time. This orbit had a frequency of 19-9/16 orbits per day and covers the earth in 16 days. The distance between ground tracks was 172 km, which, when used in conjunction with the 185-km TM and MSS swath width, provided an overlap of 7.6%. The space segment was designed with 3 years nominal lifetime in orbit and can be extended through in-orbit replacement capability by the Space Shuttle. The spacecraft and attendant sensors were operated through the Tracking And Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS).

Alternate Names

  • 14780
  • Land Satellite-E
  • Landsat-D1
  • Landsat5

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1984-03-01
Launch Vehicle: Delta
Launch Site: Vandenberg AFB, United States
Mass: 1407 kg

Funding Agencies

  • NASA-Office of Space Science Applications (United States)
  • NOAA National Environmental Satellite Service (United States)


  • Engineering
  • Earth Science

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Mr. E. MouleProject ManagerEarth Observation Satellite
Dr. David FischelProject ScientistEarth Observation Satellite
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