Eyes in the sky

The Landsat remote-sensing program, begun in 1972 with the launch of Landsat 1, has provided continuous images of large portions of the Earth's surface, enabling researchers to see how nature and human activity have changed the face of the planet over time.

Data from Landsat sensors is sent to ground receiving stations in the United States and abroad and eventually stored in databases at the U.S. Geological Survey's Earth Resources Observation Systems Data Center in Sioux Falls, S.D. Seven Landsats have been launched, although Landsat 6 did not achieve orbit.

Only two Landsats are still capable of collecting and transmitting data: the soon-to-be-decommissioned Landsat 5, launched in 1984, and Landsat 7, launched in 1999 and designed to be operational for at least five years.

Featured

  • FCW Perspectives
    zero trust network

    Why zero trust is having a moment

    Improved technologies and growing threats have agencies actively pursuing dynamic and context-driven security.

  • Workforce
    online collaboration (elenabsl/Shutterstock.com)

    Federal employee job satisfaction climbed during pandemic

    The survey documents the rapid change to teleworking postures in government under the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stay Connected