Landsat—Earth Observation Satellites

Fact Sheet 2015-3081



Since 1972, Landsat satellites have continuously acquired space-based images of the Earth’s land surface, providing data that serve as valuable resources for land use/land change research. The data are useful to a number of applications including forestry, agriculture, geology, regional planning, and education. Landsat is a joint effort of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). NASA develops remote sensing instruments and the 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 data distribution. The result of this program is an unprecedented continuing record of natural and human-induced changes on the global landscape.

Suggested Citation

U.S. Geological Survey, 2015, Landsat—Earth observation satellites (ver. 1.4, August 2022): U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2015–3081, 4 p.,

ISSN: 2327-6932 (online)

ISSN: 2327-6916 (print)

Table of Contents

  • Satellite Acquisitions
  • Sensors and Band Designations
  • Applications of Landsat Data
  • Landsat Data Products and Processing
  • Obtaining Landsat Data Products
  • Landsat Science Teams


Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Landsat—Earth observation satellites
Series title Fact Sheet
Series number 2015-3081
DOI 10.3133/fs20153081
Edition Version 1.0: November 25, 2015; Version 1.1: August 22, 2016; Version 1.2: April 8, 2020; Version 1.3: August 3, 2022; Version 1.4: August 24, 2022
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description 4 p.
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details