The LDCM spacecraft was successfully launched on February 11, 2013 aboard an Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), California.
Orbital designed, manufactured and tested the LDCM spacecraft at its state-of-the-art satellite production facility in Gilbert, AZ. NASA and the US Geological Survey (USGS) share responsibility for the LDCM program. NASA developed the flight systems including the spacecraft, instruments, mission-operations, launch, and in-orbit checkout. The USGS developed and will operate the ground network, image-processing and archive facilities, and will disseminate LDCM data to the user community. The USGS will also be responsible for satellite flight operations.
For almost 40 years, Landsat satellites have collected data on the Earth's continental surfaces constituting the longest continuous record of the Earth's surface as seen from space. Once it is in orbit, LDCM will be rechristened Landsat 8 and will continue the Landsat observatories' heritage, obtaining unique multi-spectral land images and data to be used in agriculture, geology, forestry, regional planning, education, mapping, global change research, emergency response and disaster relief.
The spacecraft is based on the company’s flight-proven LEOStar-3 low-Earth orbit “bus” that has served as the platform for several other high successful NASA-sponsored Earth and Space science missions, such as Swift and Fermi.
NASA LDCM web site
USGS Landsat web site
Orbital LDCM web page
Orbital LDCM fact sheet