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. Unlike later Landsat satellites, Landsat 3 was managed solely by NASA. Landsat 3 decommissioned on September 7, 1983, beyond its design life of one year.
Sensors and operation
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.
Landsat 3 was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. It was placed into a sun-synchronous, near polar orbit at an inclination of 99.1 degrees and an altitude of 570 miles (920 km). Landsat 3 completed 14 orbits of the Earth daily, and its cycle repeated every 18 days.
The satellite was placed in standby mode on March 31, 1983.
- 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 June 29, 2017.
- "Landsat 3". NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. March 13, 2014. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
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