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NASA, USGS to Launch Landsat 9 in September

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Landsat 9
Landsat 9

NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey will jointly launch a new land monitoring satellite on Sept. 16. to support natural resource management.

The Landsat 9 spacecraft will operate alongside Landsat 8 to capture images of the land and help stakeholders manage water, crops, forests and other natural resources, the space agency said Tuesday.

The new satellite will also replace the existing Landsat 7, which launched to space in 1999. Landsat satellites have been monitoring Earth's land surface since 1972.

Orbital ATK, now part of Northrop Grumman, built Landsat 9 under a $129.9 million contract with NASA. The agency's Goddard Space Flight Center provided a thermal sensor instrument for the satellite and will manage the Landsat 9 mission.

A United Launch Alliance-made Atlas V 401 rocket will lift Landsat 9 from Vandenberg Space Force Base to space.