Landsat 5 may not be the oldest satellite that observed the earth, but after completing about 150,000 turns around the earth and transmitting about 2.5 million images; it's announced its retirement. While it was designed for a short 3 year run, Landsat 5 has already completed ~ 3 decades in the space. The US Geological Survey (USGS) will shut down the satellite very soon.
[caption id="attachment_44926" align="aligncenter" width="419"] Landsat 5 Retires[/caption]
Marcia McNutt, director of USGS says that Landsat 5 was instrumental in recording any event on Earth that occupied space larger than the size of a football ground - be it tsunami, oil spill, wildfire etc. The satellite went through its own lows several times during service. In 2011, the satellite suffered transmission problem which led to suspension of the imaging. But the recent gyroscope failure that occurred on December 21 led to final decision of retiring the Landsat 5 from service, permanently. The process of decommissioning is expected to take a few months though.
Thank you & good-bye, Landsat 5!