NASA celebrates 45 years of Landsat satellites •

NASA celebrates 45 years of Landsat satellites


NASA celebrates 45 years of Landsat satellites Today’s Video of the Day comes from NASA Goddard and celebrates 45 years of Landsat satellites observing Earth. The first Landsat satellite was launched on July 23, 1972, and this clip highlights the useful information each satellite has provided about our environment.

Since the launch of the first Landsat satellite in 1972, then called the Earth Resources Technology Satellite, or ERTS, the mission has collected more than 8 million scenes of our home planet.

Since the first Landsat satellite launched in 1972, the mission has collected data on the forests, farms, urban areas and freshwater of our home planet, generating the longest continuous record of its kind.

Since 1972, it has flown over each point on Earth every 6 to 18 days. In the first two decades of the program, a few hardware malfunctions and limits on satellite power and download locations meant that data was not always collected and stored on passes outside of North America. Currently, both Landsat 7 and Landsat 8 are in a near-polar orbit of our planet. Each satellite repeats its orbital pattern every 16 days, with the two spacecraft offset so that each spot on Earth is measured by one or the other every eight days.


By Rory Arnold,

Credit: NASA Goddard

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