Model, Sensor, Thematic Mapper, Landsat

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Display Status:

This object is on display in the Looking at Earth exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

In the 1970s NASA inaugurated the Landsat series of satellites to study the Earth's surface from space. The program demonstrated the practical benefits of space-based mapping and study of the Earth's natural resources continuously and on a global basis.

This artifact is a full-scale model of the Thematic Mapper (TM) instrument first used on Landsat 4, which launched in 1982 and operated until 1993. As the instrument flew over the Earth it "saw" only selected wavelengths of light that, when processed, provided information on the condition of land, water, and vegetation. Compared to instruments on the first generation Landsat satellites, TM collected data in more wavelengths and with greater resolution. It worked in tandem with the satellite's other major instrument, the Multi-Spectral Scanner (MSS), providing a greatly improved range and quality of data on Earth resources.

The Santa Barbara Research Center donated the model to the Museum in 1985.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Gift of Santa Barbara Research Center, Hughes Aircraft Co.

Materials

Aluminum, plastic, mylar

Dimensions

Overall: 2 ft. 7 in. tall x 3 ft. 5 in. wide x 5 ft. 4 in. long (78.74 x 104.14 x 162.56cm). Weight: 326.6 kg (720 lbs).

Country of Origin

United States of America

Type

MODELS-Unmanned Spacecraft & Parts

Inventory Number

A19850789000