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Landsat 2

The second iteration of what was then known as the Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS) launched onboard a Delta 2910 rocket on Jan. 22, 1975.

Originally named ERTS-B, the satellite was renamed Landsat 2 by then, becoming the first orbiter in the program to bear the now familiar handle.

Landsat 2 was the first sign of a long-term commitment to a program that had already returned vital scientific information about the Earth’s surface.

Data from its MSS fed into the Large Area Crop Inventory Experiment (LACIE), a landmark test case for satellite data that saw research teams with NASA, NOAA, and the USDA working to calculate wheat yields worldwide using information gathered in low Earth orbit.

Landsat 2 remained in service from 1975 through 1982, collecting more than 335,000 images of the Earth’s surface.

Visit the full Landsat 2 page on the Landsat Missions website.

Landsat 2 First Light Image

green and white satellite
Landsat 2’s first light image captured Drayton Valley in Alberta, Canada on January 24, 1975. Located along Canadian Highway 22, also known as Cowboy Trail, the town’s original economy thrived on faming and logging. The discovery of the Pembina oil field in 1953 contributed to explosive growth in the sparsely populated area, with an increase from 75 individuals to 2,000.   The boxed pattern seen here comes from the infrastructure for the oil and gas industry. Roads and utility corridors interconnect allowing access to well sites.