For four decades, Landsat satellites have continuously acquired space-based images of the Earth's land surface, coastal shallows, and coral reefs. The Landsat Program, a joint effort of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), was established to routinely gather land imagery from space. Dr. Bruce Quirk discussed the Landsat program and the continuous global record it has revealed.
This lecture was held in conjunction with the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the launch of the first Landsat satellite on July 23, 1972. As the world's longest-running Earth-observing satellite program, Landsat provides a comprehensive, impartial, and easy to access catalog of human and natural changes to the land. Landsat research is important in improving human health, environmental protection, biodiversity, energy production, water management, urban planning, disaster recovery, and crop monitoring.
Anne Castle, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at DOI, spoke at a 40th Anniversary event in Washington, DC. Video of her comments
Image: Landsat image of the coast of Cancun, Mexico. Courtesy of the US Geological Survey.