Artist's rendering of Landsat 3.
|Mission type||Earth imaging|
|Mission duration||5 years, 6 months, 2 days|
|Launch mass||960.0 kilograms (2,116.4 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||March 5, 1978|
|Launch site||Vandenberg AFB SLC-2W|
|End of mission|
|Deactivated||September 7, 1983|
|Perigee||818 kilometers (508 mi)|
|Apogee||918 kilometers (570 mi)|
|Epoch||May 15, 1990|
Landsat 3 is the third satellite of the Landsat program. It was launched on March 5, 1978, with the primary goal of providing a global archive of satellite imagery (satellite data are called images and not photos because they are not just reflected light exposure, but recordings of radiative electromagnetic energy fluxes of surface materials). Unlike later Landsats, Landsat 3 was managed solely by NASA. Landsat 3 is no longer in operation, having been decommissioned on September 7, 1983, far beyond its designed life expectancy of one year.
Landsat 3 had essentially the same design as Landsat 2. It carried a Multi-Spectral Scanner, which had a maximum 75 meters (246 ft) resolution. Unlike the previous two Landsat missions, a thermal band was built into Landsat 3's Multi-Spectral Scanner, but this instrument failed shortly after the satellite was deployed. Landsat 3 was placed into a polar orbit at about 920 kilometers (570 mi), and took 18 days to cover the entire Earth's surface.
- McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
- "NSSDC Master Catalog". NASA. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
- United States Geological Survey (August 9, 2006). "Landsat 3 History". Retrieved January 16, 2007.
- "Landsat 3". NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. March 13, 2014. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
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