NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey plan to issue a Request for Information by the end of the year on instrumentation and platforms for Landsat Next, the Earth observation system to follow Landsat 9.
Descartes Labs announced Aug. 15 a partnership with Airbus to feed high resolution global imagery into its geospatial data platform. The Sante Fe, New Mexico-based startup also completed beta testing of its cloud-based “data refinery,” and added weather data.
The Obama administration is proposing to accelerate efforts to build the Landsat 9 satellite and launch it in 2021 instead of 2023 as currently planned.
NASA should focus on building the next full-scale Earth-observing satellite in its long-running Landsat series and forget about a proposed interim capability to ensure continuous coverage in the infrared bands, House and Senate lawmakers said in separate 2016 spending bills drafted in June.
While Landsat 9's program office is now operational at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, major procurement decisions for the next in the long series of land-imagining satellites may not be made until fall, a senior NASA official said.
In responding to Congress, NASA is mulling three possible Landsat 9 architectures, but none fit the constraints lawmakers laid out in the spending bill signed in September.
MDA Corp. said it reduced its debt in 2013 and will now turn its focus to growth including acquisitions.
As one of the nation’s two primary land-imaging satellites nears the end of its operational life, NASA and the USGS are evaluating ways to acquire future observations, such as continued reliance on large spacecraft, flying multiple small satellites and working with international partners.