A team headed by Lockheed Martin
Space Systems, Missiles & Space Operations, has delivered a proposal to
formulate and implement the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) to the
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). The LDCM will be a data
specification-based procurement for seasonal, global, highly calibrated,
multi-spectral imaging of the Earth’s land surface. The data must provide
continuity with the government’s Landsat data archives beyond Landsat 7 and
enable continuation of multi-decadal land use/land cover change

“The Lockheed Martin team is very pleased to bring extensive expertise in
Earth remote sensing spacecraft, commercial imagery distribution and
in-depth knowledge of Landsat science data to the service of the Landsat
Data Continuity Mission,” said Craig Newton, manager of commercial remote
sensing advanced programs business development at Space Systems. “For nearly
three decades, the collection of Landsat images has provided crucial data to
those who observe and study the Earth, those who manage and utilize its
natural resources, and those who monitor the changes brought on by natural
processes and human activities. Working together with GSFC and the United
States Geological Survey (USGS), we believe that we can formulate and
implement a successful LDCM that will deliver the lowest cost, highest
quality data to the Landsat community.”

The LDCM will meet both NASA research needs and USGS operational
requirements for a period of five years beginning with an initial
operational capability in March 2006. The Land Remote Sensing Policy Act of
1992 requires U.S. government Landsat program management to “assess options
for a successor land remote sensing system to Landsat 7.” The act further
requires that the assessment of options consider the ability to “maintain
data continuity with the Landsat system” and to “incorporate system
enhancements … which may potentially yield a system that is less
expensive to build and operate, and more responsive to data users.” The LDCM
will be required to provide multispectral digital image data for global
coverage of the Earth’s landmass on a seasonal basis and in a manner that
ensures continuity of the Landsat 7 mission.

Landsat images provide information applicable to the broad and diverse needs
of business, science, education and government. The data from Landsat
spacecraft constitutes the longest, relatively high spatial resolution,
multispectral record of Earth’s continental surfaces as seen from space. The
record is unmatched in quality, detail, coverage and value. In 1975, NASA
Administrator Dr. James Fletcher stated that if one space age development
might save the world, it would be Landsat and its successor satellites.
Since the first launch on July 23, 1972, Landsat satellites have
continuously supplied land surface images of the globe.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems is joined in the LDCM effort by team members
Space Imaging (SI) and the Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing (SBRS)
laboratory. Space Systems brings to the table a long heritage of
high-performance Earth remote sensing spacecraft that reaches from the Earth
Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS) launched in 1972 to Landsat 7, which
was launched in 1999. Additionally, Lockheed Martin draws on the design,
processes and personnel that constructed IKONOS, the most advanced
commercial remote sensing satellite system in the world. Space Imaging, the
owner and operator of IKONOS and supplier of a vast array of imaging
products and solutions, brings its commercial expertise and the world’s
largest commercial imagery distribution network to LDCM. And SBRS, the
heritage partner with Lockheed Martin on all Landsats to date, contributes
its in-depth knowledge of the Landsat science data, calibration/validation
and instrument design.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, headquartered in Denver, Colo., is
one of the major operating units of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Space
Systems designs, develops, tests, manufactures and operates a variety of
advanced technology systems for military, civil and commercial customers.
Chief products include a full-range of space launch systems, including
heavy-lift capability, ground systems, remote sensing and communications
satellites for commercial and government customers, advanced space
observatories and interplanetary spacecraft, fleet ballistic missiles and
missile defense systems.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a highly diversified
global enterprise principally engaged in the research, design, development,
manufacture and integration of advanced-technology systems, products and
services. The Corporation’s core businesses span space and
telecommunications, electronics, information and services, aeronautics,
energy and systems integration. Lockheed Martin had 2000 sales surpassing
$25 billion.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Low- and high-resolution JPEG image files of the proposed
Lockheed Martin LDCM spacecraft are available at the following URL:


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