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LEO > Low Earth Orbit > Polar Sun-Synchronous
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Landsat 3 is the third satellite of the Landsat program. It was launched on
March 5th, 1978, with the primary goal of providing a global archive of
satellite photos. Unlike later Landsats, Landsat 3 ... was managed solely by NASA.
Landsat 3 is no longer in operation, due to technical failure. It finally
ceased transmission on March 21st 1983, far beyond its designed life expectancy
of one year.
Landsat 3 had essentially the same design as Landsat 2. It carried a
Multi-Spectral Scanner, which had a maximum 75m resolution. Unlike the previous
two Landsat missions a thermal band was built into Landsat 3, but this
instrument failed shortly after the satellite was deployed.  Landsat 3 was
placed into a polar orbit at about 920 kilometers, and took 18 days to cover
the entire Earth's surface.
[Summary provided by NASA.]