NASA sets out-of-this-world Guinness World Record

The Landsat 5, in orbit for more than 28 years, is the longest-operating Earth observation satellite.

The holder of a new world record hasn't set foot anywhere in the world for more than 28 years.

That's because the Landsat 5 has spent that time delivering high-quality global data of Earth's surface. Now, NASA has been told its device has set a new Guinness World Record for the longest-operating Earth observation satellite.

NASA said in a press release Sunday that it was notified by Guinness via email.

Originally slated for a three-year run, the Landsat 5 shattered expectations and world records by continuing to orbit Earth for 28 years and 10 months.

During that time, it has completed more than 150,000 orbits, sending back more than 2.5 million images of the planet, NASA said.


Space is an unforgiving environment full of peril, and Landsat 5 faced its share of trouble during its amazing service.

NASA said the satellite had more than 20 technical issues as its parts gradually gave in to wear and age. While engineers were able to work around those problems for quite a while, the satellite's time in space is coming to an end.

NASA said it will be decommissioned in the coming months by the U.S. Geological Survey, who manages the satellite. A redundant gyroscope used for altitude control failed, making Landsat 5 difficult to control.

But even after it returns to Earth, the satellite, which provided valuable data by monitoring Earth from space, will live on in the record books.

Related from MSN: Earth-observing satellite to launch Monday from California


MSN News on Facebook and Twitter

Stay up to date on breaking news and current events.

Friend us on Facebook:

Follow us on Twitter: