Media Invited to Virtual Briefing on Launch of NASA, USGS Landsat 9

Media Invited to Virtual Briefing on Launch of NASA, USGS Landsat 9

Officials from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will discuss next month's planned launch of the Landsat 9 satellite during a media briefing at 10 a.m. EDT Tuesday, Aug. 31.

The Landsat 9 launch is targeted for no earlier than Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021.The media briefing will air live on NASA TV, the NASA app, and the agency's website.

Data from Landsat 9 will add to nearly 50 years of free and publicly available data from the Landsat program. The Landsat program is the longest-running enterprise for acquisition of satellite imagery of Earth. It is a joint NASA/USGS program. Researchers harmonize Landsat data to detect the footprint of human activities and measure the effects of climate change on land over decades.

Once fully operational in orbit, Landsat 9 will replace Landsat 7 and join its sister satellite, Landsat 8, in continuing to collect data from across the planet every eight days. This calibrated data will continue the Landsat program's critical role in monitoring land use and helping decision-makers manage essential resources including crops, water resources, and forests.

Briefing participants, in speaking order, are:
  • Karen St. Germain, director of NASA's Earth Science Division
  • Del Jenstrom, Landsat 9 project manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland
  • Jeff Masek, Landsat 9 project scientist at Goddard
  • David Applegate, acting director of USGS
  • Birgit Peterson, geographer at USGS
  • Inbal Becker-Reshef, director of NASA's Harvest food security and agriculture program.

NASA manages the Landsat 9 mission. Goddard teams also built and tested one of the two instruments on Landsat 9, the Thermal Infrared Sensor 2 (TIRS-2) instrument. TIRS-2 will use thermal imaging to make measurements that are used to calculate soil moisture and detect the health of plants.

The USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, will operate the mission and manage the ground system, including maintaining the Landsat archive. Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colorado, built and tested the Operational Land Imager 2 (OLI-2) instrument, another imaging sensor that provides data in the visible, near infrared, and shortwave infrared portions of the spectrum. United Launch Alliance is the rocket provider for Landsat 9's launch. Northrop Grumman in Gilbert, Arizona, built the Landsat 9 spacecraft, integrated it with instruments, and tested the observatory.

For more information about Landsat, visit:


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