Powered by an Atlas V 401 rocket, Landsat 9 lifted off from Vandenberg Space Force Base on September 27, 2021. The satellite will extend a five-decade record of observations of Earth.
Since 1972, eight Landsat satellites have been launched into orbit (including today’s launch and excluding Landsat 6, which failed during launch). This joint effort between <span aria-describedby="tt" class="glossaryLink" data-cmtooltip="
“>NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has provided an unprecedented and nearly continuous visual record of Earth’s landscapes, icescapes, and coastal waters. Landsat satellites have collected more than 9 million scenes and provoked more than 18,000 research papers.
At 11:12 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time (2:12 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time), a United Launch Alliance rocket blasted off from the California coast and ascended toward the satellite’s near-polar, Sun-synchronous orbit. The animation below shows the plume from the rocket hovering over the marine cloud layer around 11:14 a.m. Pacific time; the images were captured by the GOES-17 weather satellite (band 2/red) at a rate of one frame per minute. GOES-17 is operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); NASA helps develop and launch the GOES series of satellites.
Norway’s Svalbard satellite-monitoring ground station acquired signals from Landsat 9 about 80 minutes after launch. The satellite was performing as expected as it climbed toward its final altitude of 705 kilometers (438 miles), the same as its sister satellite, Landsat 8. Working in tandem, the two satellites will collect images spanning the entire planet every eight days.
“The Landsat mission is like no other,” said Karen St. Germain, director of the Earth Science Division at NASA. “For nearly 50 years, Landsat satellites observed our home planet, providing an unparalleled record of how its surface has changed over timescales from days to decades. Through this partnership with USGS, we’ve been able to provide continuous and timely data for users ranging from farmers to resource managers and scientists. This data can help us understand, predict, and plan for the future in a changing climate.”
The instruments aboard Landsat 9—the Operational Land Imager 2 (OLI-2) and the Thermal Infrared Sensor 2 (TIRS-2)—will measure 11 wavelengths of light reflected or radiated off Earth’s surface in the visible spectrum, as well as other wavelengths beyond what our eyes can detect. On each orbit, the instruments will capture scenes in a swath that is 185 kilometers (115 miles) wide. Each pixel in a Landsat scene represents an area of about 30 meters (100 feet) across (roughly the size of a baseball infield). Once operational, Landsat 9 will add more than 700 scenes of Earth to the mission archive each day.
“Launches are always exciting, and today was no exception,” said Jeff Masek, NASA’s project scientist for Landsat 9. “But the best part for me as a scientist will be when the satellite starts delivering the data that people are waiting for, adding to Landsat’s legendary reputation in the data user community.”
The USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center in South Dakota processes and stores data from the instruments, continuously adding that information to five decades of data from all Landsat satellites. All of the images and their embedded data are free and publicly available, a policy that has resulted in more than 100 million downloads since its inception in 2008.
“Working in tandem with the other Landsat satellites, as well as our European Space Agency partners who operate the Sentintel-2 satellites, we are getting a more comprehensive look at Earth than ever before,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at NASA. “With these satellites working together in orbit, we’ll have observations of any given place on our planet every two days. This is incredibly important for tracking things like crop growth and helping decision-makers monitor the overall health of Earth and its natural resources.”
NASA managed the Landsat 9 mission. Teams from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center built and tested the TIRS-2 instrument, while NASA’s Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center managed the launch. Ball Aerospace built and tested the OLI-2 instrument. United Launch Alliance was the rocket provider. Northrop Grumman built the Landsat 9 spacecraft, integrated it with instruments, and tested it. USGS EROS will operate the mission and manage the ground system, including maintaining the Landsat archive.
NASA Earth Observatory animation by Joshua Stevens, using GOES 17 data from NOAA and the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). Photographs by NASA/Bill Ingalls. Story by Tylar Greene, NASA Headquarters, and Michael Carlowicz.
Health Canada recalls BC cannabis product due to powdery mildew contamination – Aldergrove Star – Aldergrove Star
Health Canada and Joint Venture Craft Cannabis have issued a recall notice on a B.C.-based cannabis product due to contamination from powdery mildew.
The recall affects a batch of Bud Coast–Saltspring OG Shark dried cannabis in 3.5 gram units distributed by the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch. According to Health Canada’s recall notice, 1,071 units were sold between Sept. 22 and Oct. 7
“The affected product may contain powdery mildew. In certain individuals, exposure may result in allergic symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, wheezing, runny nose or nasal congestion, and watery or itchy eyes,” the notice reads.
Anyone who may have purchased the contaminated cannabis should stop using the product immediately and return the product to the retailer where they purchased it.
Exposure to mouldy cannabis products can cause temporary adverse health consequences, but neither Health Canada nor Joint Venture have received any adverse reaction reports about the recalled cannabis.
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NASA launches first space probe to study Jupiter's Trojan asteroids – Ottawa Citizen
NASA is poised to send Lucy, its first spacecraft to study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, to glean new insights into the solar system’s formation 4.5 billion years ago, says the space agency
NASA launched a first-of-its kind mission on Saturday to study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, two large clusters of space rocks that scientists believe are remnants of primordial material that formed the solar system’s outer planets.
The space probe, dubbed Lucy and packed inside a special cargo capsule, lifted off on schedule from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 5:34 a.m. EDT (0934 GMT), NASA said. It was carried aloft by an Atlas V rocket from United Launch Alliance (UAL), a joint venture of Boeing Co and Lockheed Martin Corp.
Lucy’s mission is a 12-year expedition to study a record number of asteroids. It will be the first to explore the Trojans, thousands of rocky objects orbiting the sun in two swarms – one ahead of the path of giant gas planet Jupiter and one behind it.
The largest known Trojan asteroids, named for the warriors of Greek mythology, are believed to measure as much as 225 kilometers (140 miles) in diameter.
Scientists hope Lucy’s close-up fly-by of seven Trojans will yield new clues to how the solar system’s planets came to be formed some 4.5 billion years ago and what shaped their present configuration.
Believed to be rich in carbon compounds, the asteroids may even provide new insights into the origin of organic materials and life on Earth, NASA said.
“The Trojan asteroids are leftovers from the early days of our solar system, effectively the fossils of planet formation,” principal mission investigator Harold Levison of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, was quoted by NASA as saying.
No other single science mission has been designed to visit as many different objects independently orbiting the sun in the history of space exploration, NASA said.
As well as the Trojans, Lucy will do a fly-by of an asteroid in the solar system’s main asteroid belt, called DonaldJohanson in honor of the lead discoverer of the fossilized human ancestor known as Lucy, from which the NASA mission takes its name. The Lucy fossil, unearthed in Ethiopia in 1974, was in turn named for the Beatles hit “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.”
Lucy the asteroid probe will make spaceflight history in another way. Following a route that circles back to Earth three times for gravitational assists, it will be the first spacecraft ever to return to Earth’s vicinity from the outer solar system, according to NASA.
The probe will use rocket thrusters to maneuver in space and two rounded solar arrays, each the width of a school bus, to recharge batteries that will power the instruments contained in the much smaller central body of the spacecraft.
Russian filmmakers land after shoot aboard International Space Station – CBC.ca
A Soyuz space capsule carrying a cosmonaut and two Russian filmmakers has landed after a 3½-hour trip from the International Space Station.
The capsule, descending under a red-and-white striped parachute after entering Earth’s atmosphere, landed upright in the steppes of Kazakhstan on schedule at 12:35 a.m. ET Sunday with Oleg Novitskiy, Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko aboard.
Actress Peresild and film director Shipenko rocketed to the space station on Oct. 5 for a 12-day stint to film segments of a movie titled Challenge, in which a surgeon played by Peresild rushes to the space station to save a crew member who needs an urgent operation in orbit. Novitskiy, who spent more than six months aboard the space station, is to star as the ailing cosmonaut in the movie.
After the landing, which sent plumes of dust flying high in the air, ground crews extracted the three space flyers from the capsule and placed them in seats set up nearby as they adjusted to the pull of gravity. They were then taken to a medical tent for examination.
‘I’m feeling a bit sad’
All appeared healthy and cheerful. Peresild smiled and held a large bouquet of white flowers as journalists clustered around her. But she said she also felt a touch of melancholy.
“I’m feeling a bit sad today. It seemed that 12 days would be a lot, but I did not want to leave when everything was over,” Peresild said on state TV.
The transfer to the medical tent was delayed for about 10 minutes while crews filmed several takes of Peresild and Novitskiy in their seats, which are to be included in the movie. More scenes remain to be shot on Earth for the film whose release date is uncertain.
Seven astronauts remain aboard the space station: Russia’s Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov; Americans Mark Vande Hei, Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur; Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency; and Japan’s Aki Hoshide.
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