Landsat 5 (MSS) Satellite Images

Landsat 5 is a US Geological Survey (USGS) remote sensing satellite. It was launched on March 1, 1984 via a Delta 3925 vehicle from VAFB (Vandenberg Air Force Base), CA. under the Landsat program. Landsat 4 and 5 were placed into sun-synchronous near-circular orbit at an altitude of 705 km, inclination of 98.2º, and repeat cycle of 16 days. The satellite’s local equatorial crossing time is between 9:30 and 10:00 hours on a descending node. The MSS instrument swath width remains the same as before by increasing the FOV (Field of View) of the sensors from 11.56º to 14.92º.

In October 2007, two batteries went down and satellite operation was suspended for four months. In March 2008, operation was resumed with additional restrictions. It represented a full copy of the Landsat 4 satellite with the same tools – a Thematic Mapper (TM) and a Multi-Spectral Scanner (MSS).

The acquisition of Landsat 5 MSS data over the US ceased in 1992, and global acquisitions ended in 1999. Limited acquisitions were made from June 2012 through January 2013.

Landsat 5 (MSS) Characteristics

Characteristic Description
  • NASA
  • NOAA
  • GE
Launch Date March 1, 1984
Vehicle Delta 3920
Site Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
  • 3-axis stabilized, zero momentum with control of 0.01 deg using reaction wheels
  • Aluminum with graphite struts
  • Hydrazine propulsion system
  • Single solar array with 1-axis articulation
  • Three Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) batteries provide 100 Ampere-Hour (AHr ) total
  • Retractable boom (4 m long) with 2 powered joints supports the articulated High Gain Antenna, which downlinked data via the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS)
  • Communications system uses S,X,L, and Ku Bands
  • Weight: approximately 4,800 lbs (2,200 kg)
  • Direct downlink with TDRSS
  • Data rate: 85 Mbps
  • Quantization: 8 bit (256 levels)
  • Worldwide References System-2 (WRS-2) path/row system
  • Circular, sun-synchronous, near-polar orbit at an altitude of 705 km (438 mi)
  • Inclined at 98.2°
  • Circled the Earth every 99 minutes
  • Repeat cycle: 16 days
  • Swath width: 185 km (115 mi)
  • Equatorial crossing time: 9:45 a.m. +/- 15 minutes
  • Multispectral Scanner (MSS)
  • Thematic Mapper (TM)
Scene size 170 km x 185 km (106 mi x 115 mi)
Design life Minumum of 3 years

Copyright © U.S. Geological Survey

Landsat 5 (MSS) Bands

Sensor Band number Band name Wavelength (μm) Resolution (m) Band Applications

Band number1 Band nameVisible Green Wavelength (μm)0.5 – 0.6 Resolution (m)60 Band ApplicationsSediment-laden water, delineates areas of shallow water

Band number2 Band nameVisible Red Wavelength (μm)0.6 – 0.7 Resolution (m)60 Band ApplicationsCultural features

Band number3 Band nameNIR Wavelength (μm)0.7 – 0.8 Resolution (m)60 Band ApplicationsVegetation boundary between land and water, and landforms

Band number4 Band nameNIR Wavelength (μm)0.8 – 1.1 Resolution (m)60 Band ApplicationsPenetrates atmospheric haze best, emphasizes vegetation, boundary between land and water, and landforms

Examples Of The Landsat 5 (MSS) Satellite Images