Lockheed Martin-Built Landsat-7 Spacecraft Marks Five Years In Space
SUNNYVALE, Calif., 15-APR-04 -- The Landsat-7 spacecraft, built, integrated and tested by the Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT), today marked five highly successful years in space. It was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. on April 15, 1999. Since launch, NASA has commended Lockheed Martin for the outstanding on-orbit performance of the spacecraft. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center manages the Landsat-7 program for the Earth Science enterprise at NASA Headquarters, and the satellite is operated by the United States Geological Survey.
The Landsat-7 spacecraft was built to complement the research of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, a long-term research program designed to study the planet's land, oceans, atmosphere, ice and life as a total integrated system.
"We take great pride in reaching this important milestone," said Jim Crocker, vice president, Civil Space, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. "Landsat satellites continue to be a central pillar of this nation's civil remote sensing capability," he added, noting that Lockheed Martin has built every Landsat spacecraft since the beginning of the program in 1972.
The Landsat-7 spacecraft contains several technological improvements over previous versions of the satellites and their instruments. These include more precise instrument calibration and a solid-state data recorder capable of storing 100 individual high-resolution Earth images. This capability has enabled Landsat-7 to update a complete global view of the Earth's land surfaces seasonally or approximately four times per year. Applications for Landsat-7 imagery have included agricultural planning, timber issues in the Northwest and information about population change and water quality.
In February 2000, Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine selected the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Lockheed Martin as recipients of its prestigious Laurel Award for their collaboration on Landsat-7, referring to it and its predecessors as "the benchmark for Earth-imaging spacecraft. In August 2000, Goddard and NASA honored the Landsat-7 government/industry team with a NASA Group Achievement Award. The Landsat-7 team was also the recipient of the 2001 William T. Pecora award, a noteworthy federal award given to individuals and groups for contributions in remote sensing.
In 1975, NASA Administrator Dr. James Fletcher stated that if one space age development might save the world, it would be Landsat and its successor satellites. Since the first launch July 23, 1972, Landsat satellites have continuously supplied land surface images of the globe.
Landsat's 32-year collection of land images serves those who observe and study the Earth, those who manage and utilize its natural resources and those who monitor the changes brought on by natural processes and human activities. The images provide information applicable to the broad and diverse needs of business, science, education and government. The data from Landsat spacecraft constitutes the longest, relatively high spatial resolution, multispectral record of Earth's continental surfaces as seen from space. The record is unmatched in quality, detail, coverage and value.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company is one of the major operating units of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Space Systems designs, develops, tests, manufactures, and operates a variety of advanced technology systems for military, civil and commercial customers. Chief products include a full-range of space launch systems, including heavy-lift capability, ground systems, remote sensing and communications satellites for commercial and government customers, advanced space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft, fleet ballistic missiles and missile defense systems.
NOTE TO EDITORS: High and low resolution images of the Landsat-7 spacecraft can be found at:
Photo Credit: Russ Underwood, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company
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