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Santa Barbara County, CA, became a hub of Landsat activity in the last week of September 2021. That’s the week Landsat 9 launched into orbit on board an Atlas V rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base.

Officials and guests with the USGS and Department of Interior were among those to visit Space Launch Complex 3 the day before liftoff.

Scientists gathered for a meet and greet at a Lompoc, CA, winery, where they spoke about how the unparalleled record of Landsat observations across nearly 50 years helps them to study and better understand the planet. Many returned the following day to meet Virginia Norwood, known as the “Mother of Landsat” for her role in the multispectral scanner used in the first Landsat satellite.

Children and curious adults had a chance to learn about remote sensing at the Lompoc Library, where selections from the USGS EROS Earth As Art collection were on display alongside educational activities and offerings.

The launch itself saw officials and guests from around the world gather at Vandenberg viewing locations to witness the historic moment.

Here are a few of our favorite photos and videos from the Landsat 9 launch.

Space Launch Complex 3 - Sept. 26, 2021

Gallery from a visit to Space Launch Complex 3 at Vandenberg Space Force Base, the site of the Landsat 9 launch in September 2021. 

Landsat Mural Dedication - Sept. 26, 2021

Gallery from the dedication of the Landsat mural in Lompoc, CA

Landsat 9 Launch - Sept. 27, 2021

Gallery of photos from the launch of Landsat 9


Landsat 9 Launch from Vandenberg: 3 ViewsThree views of the Landsat 9 launch on September 27, 2021. Liftoff of the Atlas V rocket took place at 11:12 local time from Vandenberg Space Force Base near Lompoc, California. Mild fog and the "marine layer" of clouds cleared just enough to see the first 10 seconds of flight from 4 miles away at the OS-45 viewing area (also known as the "gravel pit") located to the north of the SLC-3 launch pad.Since 1972, the joint NASA/ U.S. Geological Survey Landsat series of Earth Observation satellites have continuously acquired images of the Earth’s land surface, providing uninterrupted data to help land managers and policymakers make informed decisions about natural resources and the environment.Landsat is a part of the USGS National Land Imaging (NLI) Program. Landsat data is processed and hosted at the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center.Learn more about Landsat 9 and the Landsat program at

Earth As Art - Lompoc 

Gallery of images from the Lompoc, CA library's display of Earth As Art imagery to celebrate the Landsat 9 launch.

Landsat 9 extends the legacy of the venerable program. Here are a few newspaper clips from the program's history:

[Audio Descriptions]A short look back at the the history of Landsat launches through the historic articles of the Lompoc Record publication.View non-AD version.

Visit the Landsat Missions page for information on Landsat data access, use, and availability. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to stay up-to-date on Landsat and EROS news, and follow this link to hear our first podcast from launch week.






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