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Semi-centennial of Landsat observations and pending Landsat 9 launch

August 31, 2021

The first Landsat was placed in orbit on 23 July 1972, followed by a series of missions that have provided nearly continuous, two-satellite 8-day repeat image coverage of the Earth’s land areas for the last half-century. These observations have substantially enhanced our understanding of the Earth’s terrestrial dynamics, both as a major element of the Earth’s physical system, the primary home of humans, and the major source of natural resources that support them. The history of Landsat is complex, reflective of the human systems that sustain it. Despite the conflicted perspectives surrounding the continuation of the program, Landsat has survived based on worldwide recognition of its critical contributions to understanding land dynamics, management of natural resources and Earth system science. Launch of Landsat 9 is anticipated in Fall 2021, and current planning for the next generation, Landsat Next is well underway. The community of Landsat data users is looking forward to another 50 years of the Landsat program.

Publication Year 2021
Title Semi-centennial of Landsat observations and pending Landsat 9 launch
DOI 10.14358/PERS.87.8.533
Authors Samuel N. Goward, Jeffery G. Masek, Thomas Loveland, John L. Dwyer, Darrel L. Williams, Terry Arvidson, Laura E.P. Rocchio, James R. Irons
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing (PE&RS)
Index ID 70249353
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center