Fact Sheet 2012–3057
Landsat satellites have continuously acquired space-based images of the Earth’s land surface, coastal shallows, and coral reefs across four decades. 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. In practice, NASA develops remote-sensing instruments and spacecraft, launches satellites, and validates their performance. The USGS then assumes ownership and operation of the satellites, in addition to managing all ground-data reception, archiving, product generation, and distribution. The result of this program is a visible, long-term record of natural and human-induced changes on the global landscape.
First posted May 2, 2012
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Byrnes, R.A., 2012, Landsat—A Global Land Imaging Program: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2012–3057, 2 p.