Sao Paulo,Brazil: United States Geological Survey (USGS) has obtained a waiver that will allow them to maintain the orbits of both Landsat-5 and Landsat-7 until 2012. This was announced in Landsat Technical Working Group meeting held recently. The USGS is planning a celebration to mark Landsat-5, which is entering 25th year of its operation next year. Also, USGS is optimistic that the satellite will continue to provide high-quality data past its 25th anniversary.
There will be some effect on the mean local crossing time as the final orbit manoeuvres are performed. Both spacecraft continue to perform well and, whilst Landsat-5 has a number of potential single points of failure, none of the systems are showing any trend toward failure.
The Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM)is issuing tenders for most of the major systems. The expected launch date for next generation Landsat series satellite Landsat – 8 is July 2011 which will enable on-orbit cross calibration with Landsat-5 and 7. Landsat -8 is designed for a five year life, but will carry ten years of consumables.