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Landsat 5


Designation 14780 / 84021A
Launch date 1 Mar 1984
Country of origin United States
Mission Remote sensing
Perigee/Apogee 698/706 km
Inclination 98.1°
Period 98.8 min
Launch vehicle Thor Delta #174

Still serving valuable data in March 2004 for its 20th anniversary.
It experienced solar array drive problems in 2005: the primary failed in January and the backup performed badly in December. Normal operations could be resumed in late-Jan 2006.

Still in operation for it's 25th anniversary in 2009. Engineers originally designed Landsat 5 to be retrievable by the space shuttle, so they added an auxiliary fuel tank to allow the satellite to meet the shuttle half-way during a rendezvous. When the idea of shuttle retrieval was scrapped, Landsat 5 found itself with a bounty of extra fuel, which it has used to maintain its orbiting altitude of 705 kilometers. During the 25 years in orbit, engineers have worked around and adapted to at least 22 mission anomalies. For instance, Landsat 5 has no on-board data recorder to capture acquired data for later downlink; everything must be relayed to ground antennas in real time.

Experienced an attitude problem on 13 Aug 2009 ; service resumed the next day. A transponder change was made in Jan 2010. In Nov 2011, transponder amplifiers essential to downlink data caused serious issues.

Was awared the title of "Longest-operating Earth observation satellite" in 2013 for 28 years and 10 month service.

sat-index articles

Technical data


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