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LDCM Spacecraft
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Following launch, the LDCM satellite system will consist of two major segments: the observatory and the ground system. The observatory consists of the spacecraft bus and its payload of two Earth observing sensors, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) and the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS). OLI and TIRS will collect the LDCM science data. The two sensors will coincidently collect multispectral digital images of the global land surface including coastal regions, polar ice, islands, and the continental areas. The spacecraft bus will store the OLI and TIRS data on an onboard solid-state recorder and then transmit the data to ground receiving stations.

The ground system will provide the capabilities necessary for planning and scheduling the operations of the LDCM observatory and the capabilities necessary to manage the science data following transmission from the spacecraft.

The LDCM spacecraft, built by Orbital Sciences Corporation, has a design life of 5 years, but carries sufficient fuel for 10 years of operations.

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Mike Taylor
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.