February 2014

Lunar image from OLI March
Feb 28, 2014Landsat 8 Images Earth’s Biggest Satellite—Check it Out

Landsat 8 was built to do something none of its predecessors had done before: look at the Moon. You may ask why an Earth-observing mission would want to image Earth’s natural orbiting celestial body. Well, it all goes back to getting good data [...]

Landsat 8 launch
Feb 27, 2014Celebrating Landsat 8’s First Year in Orbit

On Feb. 11, 2013, Landsat 8 launched into Earth orbit, riding on an Atlas V rocket. Weighing in at 6,133 pounds, Landsat 8 is the eigth satellite in the long-running Landsat program, jointly managed by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey.

onion skin still
Feb 25, 2014The Landsat Onion Skin: Peeling Back Landsat’s Layers of Data

Landsat satellites circle the globe every 99 minutes, collecting data about the land surfaces passing underneath. After 16 days, the Landsat satellite has passed over every spot on the globe, and recorded data in 11 different wavelength regions. [...]

Landsat Orbital Swath
Feb 19, 2014Round She Goes: Landsat’s Orbital Swath

As a Landsat satellite flies over the surface of the Earth the instruments aboard the satellite are able to view a swath 185 kilometers wide and collect images along that swath as the satellite proceeds through its orbit. The spacecraft travels [...]

Landsat 8: Good Things, Getting Better
Feb 18, 2014Landsat 8: Good Things, Getting Better

It’s hard to believe a year has passed since the launch of Landsat 8. This first anniversary is going to be an exciting, upbeat celebration because the new satellite is meeting, if not exceeding, all expectations. “Landsat 8 is nearly perfect,” [...]

L5 from L8, band 8
Feb 14, 2014Landsat 8 Spots an Old Friend

Eight months ago, on June 5, 2013, the U.S. Geological Survey decommissioned the venerable Landsat 5 satellite. That day, the USGS Landsat Flight Operations Team transmitted the last command to Landsat 5, effectively terminating the mission and [...]

L7 velocity graphic
Feb 12, 2014Recent Landsat 7 Maneuvers Affect WRS Footprints

On January 9, 2014, the USGS executed a delta-velocity (Delta-V) maneuver to pre-position Landsat 7 for a larger delta-inclination (Delta-I) maneuver used to maintain the satellite’s mean local crossing time.

CropScape map
Feb 12, 2014NASS Releases 2013 Geospatial Data for U.S. Crops

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) updated its online geospatial exploring tool, CropScape, adding Cropland Data Layers from crop year 2013. This tool gives public an easy access to [...]

Landsat 8 rocket
Feb 11, 2014A High-Flying Rookie Season

Landsat 8 is acquiring around 550 images per day – significantly more than the 400-image-per-day design requirement. Between Landsat 7 (launched in 1999 and still active) and Landsat 8, nearly 1,000 images per day are being collected. This is [...]

Landsat 8 Celebrates First Year of Success
Feb 11, 2014Landsat 8 Celebrates First Year of Success

A flawless launch, followed by the transfer of operational control on May 30 to the U.S. Geological Survey, marked the start of the satellite's mission to extend an unparalleled record of observing Earth's landscape from space. Landsat 8 is the [...]