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Fact Sheet 2012–3072

Landsat: A Global Land-Imaging Mission

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (3.95 MB)Abstract

Across four decades since 1972, 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. NASA develops remote-sensing instruments and spacecraft, then launches and validates the performance of the instruments and satellites. The USGS then assumes ownership and operation of the satellites, in addition to managing all ground reception, data archiving, product generation, and distribution. The result of this program is a long-term record of natural and human induced changes on the global landscape.

Revised May 30, 2013

First posted June 5, 2012

For additional information contact:
U.S. Geological Survey
Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
47914 252nd Street
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57198

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Suggested citation:

U.S. Geological Survey, 2012, Landsat-A Global Land-Imaging Mission: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2012–3072, 4 p. (Revised July 19, 2012).


History of the Landsat Program

Characteristics of the Landsat System

Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM)

Applications of Landsat Data

Landsat 7 ETM+ —Scan Line Corrector Failure


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