Since 1972, Landsat satellites have consistently gathered data about our planet for the benefit of the U.S. and the world. The Landsat data archive is the longest continuous remotely sensed global record of Earth’s surface, with all the data free and available to the public. The Landsat satellite missions, jointly managed by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, are a central pillar of our national remote sensing capability and established the U.S. as a leader in land imaging.
Landsat 9 is the next satellite in the program, and will add more than 700 scenes a day to this invaluable archive. As Earth’s population approaches 8 billion, Landsat 9 will extend our ability to detect and characterize land surface changes, and will do so at a scale where researchers can differentiate between natural and human-induced change.
Land cover and land use are changing globally at rates unprecedented in human history. These changes bring profound consequences for weather, ecosystems, resource management, the economy, carbon storage and emissions, human health, and other aspects of society. Landsat datasets are a critical tool in monitoring and managing essential resources in a changing world.