On July, 23 2017, the Landsat Program will celebrate forty-five years of continuous Earth observation. NASA — working in cooperation with the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and its science agency, the USGS — launched the first Landsat satellite (originally named Earth Resources Technology Satellite 1) on July 23, 1972.
Landsat 1 was the first Earth-observing satellite to be launched with the specific intent to study and monitor our planet’s landmasses. Landsat 1 had a minimum design life of 1 year but operated nominally until January 1978 when a tape record malfunctioned and the spacecraft was taken out of service. Over its six and a half years of service Landsat 1 acquired over 150,000 Multispectral Scanner (MSS) scenes from around the world.
Since 1975 seven more Landsat launches (Landsat 6 failed to reach orbit) have taken place, with the most recent, Landsat 8, being launched on February 11, 2013. Landsat 9 is scheduled for launch in Dec 2020.
To date, the Landsat Program has archived over 7 million scenes and represents the world’s longest continuous remotely sensed global record of the Earth’s surface. The data collected provide essential information to help land managers and policymakers make informed decisions about our natural resources and environment.
To mark this occasion we have been sharing Landsat related facts, trivia and images using #Landsat45 everyday during the month of July. Follow us on the social media accounts below to join in the celebration and conversation as we continue the "vision to observe Earth for the benefit of all" (Interior Secretary, Stewart Udall, 1966).
USGS Landsat: @USGSLandsat
NASA Landsat: @NASA_Landsat