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Landsat 9

The most recent satellite to join the venerable Landsat program’s fleet launched on September 27, 2021 from Vandenberg Space Force Base.

Landsat 9 image of Northern Madagascar
Landsat 9 image showing the Betsiboka River estuary delta in Northern Madagascar. Data acquired on December 7, 2021.

The sensors aboard Landsat 9 align closely with those affixed to Landsat 8, with improvements that allow for the detection of more subtle changes, particularly over darker areas like deep water or dense forests.

Landsat 9 takes the place of Landsat 7. Together with Landsat 8, the two operational satellites record the highest-quality imagery collected in the program’s 50-year history over nearly the entire Earth’s surface every eight days.

The first images from Landsat 9 were released in late December of 2021, during the monthslong commissioning phase of the mission. Landsat 9 imagery was released to the public in early 2022. By mid-March of that year, the satellite had already collected more than 88,000 Earth surface images.

NASA transferred operations of Landsat 9 to the USGS in 2022.

Visit the full Landsat 9 page on the Landsat Missions website.

Landsat 9 First Light

Video Transcript
Landsat 9 launched into space on September 27th, 2021. The "first light" images arrived on October 31st. On that day the satellite captured: algal blooms in Lake Erie, the glaciers of the Himalayas, bush fires in Australia's Eucalypt Woodlands, coastal communities on the Florida panhandle, and deserts, mountains and mesas across the Navajo Nation. Imagery from Landsat 9 will maintain and extend the Landsat program's nearly 50 year record of Earth surface change. The new data stream will be available to the public in early 2022.