ULA Atlas V launches Landsat DCM spacecraft

February 11, 2013 by William Graham and Chris Bergin

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) Altas V has launched its second mission in just a few short weeks, lofting the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) satellite into orbit. Launch from Space Launch Complex -3 (SLC-3) at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in Californian was on time at 6:02pm UTC.

Atlas V Launch:

LDCM is a joint NASA and US Geological Survey mission, and is the eighth satellite in the Landsat series, which began in 1972.

The satellite will add to the longest continuous data record of Earth’s surface as viewed from space and will extend the history of global land observations that are critical in many areas, such as energy and water management, forest monitoring, human and environmental health, urban planning, disaster recovery and agriculture.

“LDCM builds on and strengthens a key American resource: a decades-long, unbroken Landsat-gathered record of our planet’s natural resources, particularly its food, water and forests,” noted Jim Irons, Landsat project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

LDCM carries two instruments, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colorado, and the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) built by NASA Goddard.

Read more: ULA Atlas V launches Landsat DCM spacecraft | NASASpaceFlight.com.

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