Landsats 4 and 5, the latest in the series of unmanned earth observation satellites, are used as the space platform for two remote sensing, mechanical scanning instruments: the multispectral scanner (MSS) and the recently developed thematic mapper (TM). The primary objective of the experimental portion of the Landsat 4 and 5 missions is to assess the capability of the TM to provide improved information relative to the MSS. The higher spatial resolution of the TM over the MSS requires a higher degree of flight segment attitude stability than the earlier Landsats; therefore, a more stable, low-orbit space platform must be provided. This paper describes the orbital, electrical, mechanical, and thermal chihracteristics of Landsat 4 and 5 flight segment with special emphasis on the TM and MSS interfaces. Also described are flight segment disturbances caused by the TM and MSS scanning mirrors, motion from the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) antenna, solar array, and the attitude control system (ACS).