Exciting, and sometimes bizarre, Landsat factoids!


MSS image of Half Dome, May 1972
May 1, 2014 1972 MSS Image of Half Dome

In May of 1972, two months before the launch of Landsat 1, engineers from Hughes Aircraft Company took their engineering model of the Multispectal Scanning System (MSS) out to Yosemite National Park, set it up on Glacier Point, and took this [...]

L5 from L8, band 8
Feb 14, 2014 Landsat 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 [...]

The LDCM thermal instrument engineering team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
Apr 27, 2012 Engineering the Future By Building on the Landsat Legacy

Building a satellite is a major collaboration and involves the hard work of many different types of engineers. The engineering process for Landsat involves defining the satellite requirements, testing the design, building the instruments and [...]

Left: a report page from the first flight across the South Atlantic Ocean in 1922, accepted into the Memory of the World Register in 2011. Right: a page of the Gutenberg Bible, accepted into the register in 2001.
Oct 13, 2011 Landsat MSS Data Now Part of the Memory of the World Register

What do the Landsat MSS data archive, the Gutenberg Bible, Tolstoy’s personal library, and the Book of Kells—an eighth century illuminated manuscript created by Celtic monks—have in common? They are all among the 245 international documentary [...]

Tehran, Iran
Nov 18, 2009 NASA’s Newest Map of the World

In June 2009, NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey put the finishing touches on a new collection of mapped images covering the entire land surface of the Earth and made them available to anyone, anywhere in the world, absolutely free. The result [...]