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April 2, 2009 - Free data downloads hit 500,000

On April 2, 2009, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Landsat Project delivered its 500,000th free image for Fiscal Year (FY) 2009!

A recent USGS policy change enabled Landsat data to be distributed at no charge via the internet. Prior to the policy change, the highest year of distribution was in FY2001 when approximately 25,000 scenes were delivered. This phenomenal increase in distribution comprises an estimated 95 TB of data downloaded by users. Although the USGS does not have detailed records since the mission's inception in 1972, there is good evidence that more data have been distributed in the last 6 months than in the entire first 36 years of the Landsat missions combined.