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The Landsat program

The Landsat program is the longest running enterprise for acquisition of satellite imagery of Earth. On July 23, 1972 the Earth Resources Technology Satellite was launched. This was eventually renamed to Landsat.  The most recent, Landsat 8, was launched on February 11, 2013. The instruments on the Landsat satellites have acquired millions of images. The images, archived in the United States and at Landsat receiving stations around the world, are a unique resource for global change research and applications in agriculture, cartography, geology, forestry, regional planning, surveillance and education, and can be viewed through the USGS 'EarthExplorer' website. Landsat 7 data has eight spectral bands with spatial resolutions ranging from 15 to 60 meters; the temporal resolution is 16 days.


Landsat represents the world's longest continuously acquired collection of space-based moderate-resolution land remote sensing data. Four decades of imagery provides a unique resource for those who work in agriculture, geology, forestry, regional planning, education, mapping, and global change research. Landsat images are also invaluable for emergency response and disaster relief.
As a joint initiative between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and NASA, the Landsat Project and the data it collects support government, commercial, industrial, civilian, military, and educational communities throughout the United States and worldwide.

On May 30, 2013, data from the Landsat 8 satellite (launched as the Landsat Data Continuity Mission - LDCM- on February 11, 2013) became available. As with previous partnerships, this mission continues the acquisition of high-quality data that meet both NASA and USGS scientific and operational requirements for observing land use and land change.
The Landsat project is an integral part of the Remote Sensing Missions component of the USGS Land Remote Sensing (LRS) Program.
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