NASA-USGS Landsat 8 Handoff
May 30, 2013
Hello, I'm NASA administrator Charlie Bolden. It's my pleasure today to be a part of the official transition of the latest Landsat satellite from NASA to the Department of Interior's US Geological Survey so they can carry on the important work of the Landsat program.
As we did with previous Landsat satellites, NASA built the Landsat data continuity mission to perform essential Earth observation tasks for at least the next five years. Taking its place as one of the crucial assets in space for our nation to protect our planet and better understand its complex processes.
Landsat 8, as it will now be known, carries on a long tradition of Landsat satellites that for more than 40 years now have helped us learn how Earth works, understand how humans are affecting it, and make wiser decisions as stewards of this planet.
As we move forward, NASA will work closely with the USGS on the next phase of research and data collection that the Landsat satellites have been performing. The president's FY 2014 budget provides the critical resources for us to determine the best path forward for this vital work. It funds a study to define a sustainable space based system to continue these observations.
We're going to work closely with USGS to develop the next phase of a global land imaging system that will extend and continue the existing Landsat data record.
Observing our home planet is one of NASA's chief priorities and our fleet of satellites is constantly monitoring the entire Earth in many ways. We're delighted to partner with USGS on Landsat, one of the most enduring and productive members of this group.
So here, Secretary Jewell. This wonderful and innovative spacecraft is now in your hands. I look forward to our continued partnership. Thank you, and here's to many more years of value from Landsat data.
Thank you, Charlie, and everyone at NASA.
I just want you to know that the US Geological Survey and the Department of Interior are going to take really good care of this little baby. She means a lot to us, just as she means a lot to you.
You know, her older sister, Landsat 5, was named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest operating Earth observation satellite so we've done great work together. The partnership between NASA and the USGS in Earth observation is so critically important, not just to each of us but to all the people on this planet.
You know, we do what each of us does best. NASA designs and builds great spacecraft and satellites. The USGS does a great job of synthesizing large amounts of data and turning it into useful information that is hugely impactful to the American people and how we take care of this planet that we all care so much about.
You know, there's certain rites of passage. When a new child is born, you think about a name. Today, I'm pleased to share that the new name of this little baby will be Landsat 8. It will be easy to remember. We hope and pray that she will outlast her older sister and again be in the Guinness Book of World Records setting a new record.
It is the kind of work that this satellite will do that is taking the technologies that have been developed over many years that is going to deliver us really terrific information to help us all take care of this planet in a more effective way.
I encourage all of the public to go to Landsat.USGS.gov to obtain this information for free. Again, I want to thank Administrator Bolden, your colleagues at NASA, my colleagues at USGS and Interior, and all of the aerospace engineers and other scientists and engineers who've been involved in this work.
Thank you so much on behalf of the American people.