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April 27, 2015 - Continuing the Land Imaging Mission; NASA, USGS Begin Work on Landsat 9

NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have started work on Landsat 9, planned to launch in 2023, which will provide mission-critical continuity in the Earth-observing program’s record of land images.

“The Landsat series of satellites is a cornerstone of our Earth-observing capability. The world relies on Landsat data to detect and measure land cover/land use change, the health of ecosystems, and water availability,” stated Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator, in an opening statement before the Subcommittee on Space Committee on Science, Space and Technology U.S House of Representatives.

The Landsat program has provided accurate measurements of Earth’s land cover since 1972. Planned to launch in 2023, Landsat 9 will extend the Earth-observing program’s record of land images to half a century.

With data from Landsat satellites, ecologists have tracked deforestation in South America, water managers have monitored irrigation of farmland in the American West, and researchers have watched the growth of cities worldwide. With the help of the program’s open archive, firefighters have assessed the severity of wildfires and scientists have mapped the retreat of mountain glaciers.

View NASA’s press release on Landsat 9.