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USGS Accepts Control Authority of Northrop-Built Landsat 9 Satellite From NASA

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NASA has completed the transition of operational responsibility for a Northrop Grumman-built Landsat 9 Earth observation satellite to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The newest remote sensing satellite under the joint NASA-USGS program works to capture images of the planet’s surface at 30 meter resolution every eight days and offers data to support research in areas such as water resource management, land use mapping and disaster relief, the space agency said Friday.

“For more than fifty years now, Landsat satellites have helped us learn more about how Earth systems work, how human activities affect those systems, and how we can make better decisions for the future,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson

The fourth spacecraft Northrop built for the program lifted off in September 2021 aboard an Atlas V rocket and completed the commissioning phase last month.

Steve Krein, vice president of commercial and civil satellites at Northrop, said the satellite builds on the five-decade legacy of the Landsat mission that helps monitor natural resources on Earth.

NASA and USGS are gearing up for the development of Landsat Next, Landsat 9’s proposed successor.