A selection of images of Earth from space, taken by Landsat 5, which is set to be retired after 29 years.
Originally set to orbit Earth for three years, the satellite lived well beyond its intended means. But, a recently broken gyroscope has declared the end of the machine’s time in space.
It orbited Earth more than 150,000 times, capturing more than 2.5 million images of our world’s terrain. In honor of the mission’s end, here are a collection of Landsat 5’s best images of our planet. Landsat 7, which has been orbiting Earth since 1999, will remain overhead and Landsat 8 will be launched into space in February 2013. (x)
Landsat 5 is pretty much my one true love.
Fun fact: Landsat 5 was only designed to last three years, meaning that the two of us were never supposed to coexist. It had already exceeded its lifespan by a year when I was born. As it were, we’ve had a beautiful time together. I used Landsat 5 imagery for 90% of my research.
'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, eh?
Plus, Landsat 8 launches on February 11th. New and shiny! Unless it explodes on launch like Landsat 6 did. Then we’re screwed, because all we would have is Landsat 7, and she’s permanently crippled.
(But seriously: how cool is my job? I get to play with stuff like this all day!)
I posted a metric buttload of mail this morning.
Plot twist: the four dozen cookies I made last night are all en route to four of the people who gave me their mailing addresses the other day.
If you told me to georeference the coordinates encoded in a photo I took at your house, you’re SOL because I’m lazy. If you’re Chrysti, I messed up and will snail mail you when I get back to the east coast.
Enjoy, Internet! See you in Chicago.
And you, if you’re also a fan of medium-resolution Earth-observing satellites. (Which you probably are not. So not a sad day for you, in all likelihood.)
Landsat-5 is about to bite the big one. Launched in 1984 and designed to last 3 years, he’s made it 27. We had a nice long run* together, but now with a catastrophic electrical failure, I find my most prized sensor on his proverbial death bed.
I guess there’s still Landsat-7, and though she’s quite a bit younger (she’s 12) than my main squeeze, she’s also permanently disabled. She lost her scanline corrector in 2003, and now she only provides a fraction of the data that Landsat-5 was capable of delivering. I’ve been avoiding her for years, but it looks like I won’t be able to for much longer.
So instead of working with gorgeous images like this:
Now I get crap images like this:
Landsat-8, January 2013 is too far away. Please come sooner. Landsat-7 is clingy, and I need someone more independent than her in my life. Codependency isn’t my thing. I need to spend my time running*, not interpolating 60% of her junk.
*Proves relevance of post, because I alluded to running.