The launch of NASA’s unique Landsat 9 satellite tv for computer has been delayed by a liquid nitrogen shortage

The launch of NASA’s unique Landsat 9 satellite tv for computer has been delayed by a liquid nitrogen shortage

NASA's new Landsat 9 Earth-observation satellite is secured inside its payload fairing for a planned September 2021 launch into orbit on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

NASA’s unique Landsat 9 Earth-observation satellite tv for computer is secured inner its payload fairing for a planned September 2021 launch into orbit on a United Originate Alliance Atlas V rocket from the Vandenberg Articulate Drive Snide in California.
(Describe credit ranking: USSF 30th Articulate Hover/Chris Okula)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The launch of NASA’s next Earth-observing Landsat satellite tv for computer shall be delayed per week due to an absence of liquid nitrogen, the placement agency has launched.

The Landsat 9 satellite tv for computer, a joint endeavor by NASA and the United States Geological Survey (USGS), was once on the birth scheduled to blast off from Articulate Originate Complex 3 at Vandenberg Articulate Drive Snide in California on Sept. 16. That liftoff has been pushed succor to no earlier than Sept. 23. 

The extend is thanks to a global shortage of liquid oxygen, a truly crucial ingredient of rocket gasoline, due to its position in medical liquid oxygen in the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Liquid oxygen is extinct as an oxidizer collectively with no subject gasoline a rocket uses. Landsat 9 shall be launched on a United Originate Alliance Atlas V rocket, which uses RP-1 (rocket-grade kerosene), as propellant.

“Contemporary pandemic calls for for medical liquid oxygen maintain impacted the provision of the wished liquid nitrogen present to Vandenberg by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and its supplier Airgas,” NASA talked about in a assertion

In photographs: NASA’s Evolved Landsat 8 Earth-Watching Satellite tv for computer

In response to agency officials, NASA has its possess supplier of liquid oxygen that covers the missions launching from Kennedy Articulate Center in Florida. (It also affords the liquid oxygen for United Originate Alliance missions as properly; SpaceX affords its possess liquid oxygen.)

The agency in actuality has ample liquid oxygen affords as of now that the shortcoming is no longer going to maintain an imprint on any launches which can per chance well be for the time being on this 365 days’s manifest. That can per chance well also alternate reckoning on the medical neighborhood’s wants. 

Launches from Vandenberg are a particular yarn. The priority there, as considered with the Landsat extend, is an absence of liquid nitrogen. 

That’s for the reason that firm that delivers the present of liquid nitrogen is assisting in turning in liquid oxygen hundreds to hospitals, rising an absence of offer drivers on hand to create the deliveries at Vandenberg. 

“Airgas converts the liquid nitrogen to gaseous nitrogen wished for launch automobile testing and countdown sequences. DLA and Airgas now maintain applied efforts to amplify the present of liquid nitrogen to Vandenberg,” NASA talked about in an announcement.

Landsat 9’s mission

The $885 million Landsat 9 mission could be the ninth in the Landsat program as its title suggests, and could per chance per chance continue the program’s position of monitoring and managing land sources admire crops, water and forests. 

Landsat satellites maintain been an helpful resource for scientists for the reason that first satellite tv for computer launched in 1972. 

“I admire to take into story Landsat as something admire a Swiss military knife out of 1 current house of observations or measurements, we feed a entire vary of assorted science applications,” talked about Landsat 9 mission scientist Jeff Masek of NASA’s Goddard Articulate Flight Center in Maryland, in a prelaunch mission briefing Tuesday. 

The Landsat 9 satellite tv for computer will replace the Landasat 7 satellite tv for computer, which has been in orbit since 1999, and could per chance per chance work in tandem with Landsat 8, which was once launched in 2013. The Landsat 8/9 duo will image the Earth each and each eight days. They  elevate two assorted scientific instruments that could analyze light mirrored from the planet in assorted wavelengths to detect even essentially the most minute modifications in the lakes, rivers and wooded space internationally. 

Practice Amy Thompson on Twitter @astrogingersnap. Practice us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Fb.

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