Landsat lives

Space News reports online [subscription required] late Tuesday that the White House has changed course and endorsed a dedicated Landsat mission. A December 23 memo from OSTP director John Marburger (not yet available on the OSTP web site) directed the NPOESS program to remove a Landsat-type instrument and instead gave NASA responsibility for building a new Landsat spacecraft. The decision comes after a confluence of events, including problems with the existing two Landsat spacecraft (one of which is over 20 years old and recently suffered a solar array problem), general problems with the NPOESS program, and concerns that NPOESS was not a suitable platform for a Landsat-class imager. The report doesn’t give any indication of the expected cost of the new Landsat spacecraft or its scheduled deployment.

1 comment to Landsat lives

  • “To become a multiplanet species, we must master the skills of extracting local resources, build our capability to journey and explore in hostile regions, and create new reservoirs of human culture and experience.” -Spudis

    To become a multiplanet species, we also have to want to become a multiplanet species which from the other two cites, is where we are stuck. Jobs and other “needs here on Earth” are taking up more than 99% of the Government’s time, attention and money.