End of the road for Landsat 5

USGS has stopped acquiring images from the legendary Landsat 5 satellite according to their website.

On the 18th of November, 2011, Landsat 5 image acquisitions were suspended for a period of 90 days, due to fluctuations in the performance of a critical amplifier that is part of the satellite’s transmission system.

USGS also issued the following statement: “As it approaches the 28th anniversary of its launch, Landsat 5 is in a safe state while the USGS is doing everything it can to restore imaging operations. Should neither the restoration of TM data transmissions nor the revival of the MSS instrument succeed, the USGS will proceed to decommission the satellite. The FOT is now developing the procedures required to turn off all systems and safely lower the orbit of Landsat 5, should this step prove necessary.”

The Landsat series of satellite have been a wonderful contributor to global remote sensing since the 70s and itll be sad to see Landsat 5 go. Fortunately, the next generation of these satellites will be released with the projected launch of LDCM satellite in early 2013.