After Nearly 30 years, Landsat 5, the longest-operating Earth observing satellite is being shut down. USGS Director Marcia McNutt made this comment; "Any major event since 1984 that left a mark on this Earth larger than a football field was likely recorded by Landsat 5, whether it was a hurricane, a tsunami, a wildfire, deforestation, or an oil spill."
During its 29 years of service it has had several mishaps that had to be repaired. However the latest issue with Landsat 5 has to do with a gyroscope That is far beyond being repaired in space, which causes the U.S. Geological Survey to regretfully decommission the satellite.
Considering that the Landsat 5 satellite was designed for a three year life cycle, I would say that it well served its purpose. Currently there is also another USGS satellite named Landsat 7 orbiting the earth, and Landsat 8 is dubbed to be launched this coming up February 2013
Landsat 5 has orbited the earth over 150,000 times and sent back 2.5 million pictures! Very impressive numbers for one of the oldest satellites to still orbit the earth.
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