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An Earth observation instrument built by Ball Aerospace successfully launched Monday aboard Landsat 9, the latest joint mission between NASA and the United States Geological Society.

The Ball Aerospace-built Operational Land Imager 2 will provide multispectral imagery and improved land surface information, the company wrote in a news statement.

Engineers at Ball Aerospace work on an instrument that will be part of an Earth observation mission. (Ball Aerospace/BizWest / Courtesy photo)

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. is a division of Ball Corp. (NYSE: BLL).

NASA and the USGS have collaborated on Earth monitoring of natural and economic resources from orbit for 50 years.

“It is an honor to be a part of this important launch that will carry the Landsat mission into its next decade of existence and continue the longest-running Earth observation program,” Dr. Makenzie Lystrup, vice president and general manager of the Civil Space division of Ball Aerospace, said in a statement.

In addition to the monitoring instrument, Ball designed and built the cryocooler that will keep Landsat 9’s thermal infrared sensor chilled to 40 Kelvin (-388 F).

The Ball instrument on Landsat 9 will image the Earth every 16 days in an eight-day offset with Landsat 8. Landsat 9 will collect as many as 750 scenes per day, and with Landsat 8, the two satellites will add nearly 1,500 new scenes a day to the USGS Landsat archive.

Since 1972, Landsat satellites have provided measurements to help the nation make decisions about natural resource management, including compiling routine drought assessments; developing wildfire prevention strategies; monitoring land surface changes; evaluating agricultural production; and understanding the Earth’s ecosystem, Ball said in a statement.

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