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ExoLance
Landsat 5 to be retired
Posted: Sat, Dec 22, 2012, 11:17 AM ET (1617 GMT)
Landsat 5 illustration (USGS) The US Geological Survey (USGS) announced Friday that it plans to decommission the aging Landsat 5 spacecraft in the coming months as a replacement satellite is prepared for launch. Landsat 5 launched in 1984 with a planned design life of three years, but has continued operations after the loss of Landsat 6 in a launch failure in 1993 and technical problems with Landsat 7, launched in 1999. USGS officials said the recent failure of a gyro on Landsat 5 prompted their decision to decommission the spacecraft. A new remote sensing satellite, Landsat 8, also known as the Landsat Data Continuity Mission, is scheduled for launch in February. That spacecraft recently arrived at its launch site, Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, from the Orbital Sciences Corporation facility in Arizona where it was assembled.
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