The Ball Aerospace-built Operational Land Imager 2
(OLI-2) instrument successfully launched today aboard Landsat 9, the latest in a series of joint missions
between NASA and the United States Geological Society (USGS) that has provided essential monitoring of
key natural and economic resources from orbit for nearly 50 years.

“It is an honor to be a part of this important launch that will carry
the Landsat mission into its next decade of existence and continue
the longest-running Earth observation program,” said Dr.
Makenzie Lystrup, vice president and general manager, Civil
Space, Ball Aerospace. “Our goal was to develop a technologically
advanced solution that was both cost effective and capable of
delivering highly-calibrated multispectral imagery and improved
land surface information. This launch is the culmination of a lot of
hard work by a lot of talented people to achieve that goal.”

In addition to the instrument (OLI-2), Ball designed and built the cryocooler that will keep Landsat 9’s
Thermal Infrared Sensor 2 (TIRS-2) chilled to a frigid 40 Kelvin (-388 F). The TIRS-2 instrument, designed
and built by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, measures thermal radiance emitted from the Earth’s

The OLI-2 instrument, similar to its predecessor – OLI-1 launched in 2013 – is a push-broom sensor with a
four-mirror telescope that takes measurements in the visible, near infrared and shortwave infrared portions of
the electromagnetic spectrum. The OLI-2 instrument on Landsat 9 will image the Earth every 16 days in an
eight-day offset with Landsat 8. Landsat 9 will collect as many as 750 scenes per day, and with Landsat 8,
the two satellites will add nearly 1,500 new scenes a day to the USGS Landsat archive.

Since 1972, Landsat satellites have provided essential measurements to help the Nation make informed
decisions about natural resource management, including compiling routine drought assessments; developing
wildfire prevention strategies; monitoring land surface changes; evaluating agricultural production; and
understanding the Earth’s ecosystem.

As Landsat 9 begins its tour of duty, Ball is already exploring innovative technologies that could support
future Landsat missions. It recently completed three studies for NASA examining the potential for precisely
calibrated sensors that are significantly smaller, lighter and use less power. Additionally, Ball was selected in
August to conduct two six-month architecture studies on extending Ball’s Operational Land Imager (OLI) and
Reduced Envelope Multispectral Imager (REMI) instrument designs to address new spectral bands, improved
spatial resolution and new orbit parameters.

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