12/27/2012
The U.S. Geological Survey has announced that Landsat 5, the longest-running Earth-observing satellite, will retire soon, after documenting the changing face of our planet since 1984. Maneuvers to start the decommissioning process will begin next month. The Landsat program will continue, but it is unlikely there will ever be another satellite that matches the longevity of Landsat 5. NASA will launch the next satellite in the series, the Landsat 8 satellite, or Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM), in February. The instruments on board have evolutionary advances that make them the most advanced Landsat instruments to date and are designed to improve performance and reliability to improve observations of the global land surface. A gyroscope failure discovered in November spurred the decision to deorbit Landsat 5. (Image Credit: NASA)
More Info > (Space.com)