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LDCM Status Update for May 17, 2013

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013

image All spacecraft systems and instruments are performing normally. On Sunday, May 5, the Flight Dynamics Team fired thrusters for 0.8 seconds on the Landsat Data Continuity Mission, or LDCM, Observatory to mitigate the risk of colliding with a piece of space junk. The burn also boosted the satellite as part of a planned atmospheric drag make-up maneuver. Afterward, the spacecraft safely returned to Earth-observing mode.

Through May 5, the satellite was routinely imaging more than 400 scenes per day, continuing routine calibrations and testing off-nadir ("nadir" means straight down) imaging. Additionally, real-time data was downlinked to international collaborator ground stations.

Then on Monday, May 6, the Operational Land Imager, or OLI, went into safe mode after a corruption event in unused memory. The cause was likely a result of a hit of higher than usual radiation from Earth's inner Van Allen radiation belt over the South Atlantic Ocean. The anomaly was considered benign with no long-term effects on the mission. The OLI performed as designed by detecting the anomaly and placing itself in safe mode to protect the health of the instrument. On Friday, May 10, OLI was successfully returned to operation without incident.

On May 15, the team successfully completed the LDCM On-orbit Acceptance Review, which allows NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., to accept all contractual obligations for the spacecraft, the Operational Land Imager, and the Mission Operations Element from industry partners.

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