The Landsat Program

This joint NASA/USGS program provides the longest continuous space-based record of Earth’s land in existence. Every day, Landsat satellites provide essential information to help land managers and policy makers make wise decisions about our resources and our environment. + Landsat Case Studies ebook

Cousteau and his team during the experiment
“Go Now!” Aboard the Calypso During the 1975 NASA–Cousteau Expedition to See the Bottom of the Ocean from Space
In August 1975, Jacques Cousteau and his divers helped determine if Landsat could measure the depth of
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hummingbird

Getting a Bird’s-Eye View of Biodiversity with Landsat

This bird’s-eye view of the relationship between temperature and bird biodiversity will help conservationists figure out where to prioritize []
grapes

Raising a Glass in Wine Country to Better Water Management

Grape growers like Gallo are using data from Earth-observing satellites to better track soil and vine moisture levels, understand vine water use []

Explore Landsat at Home

Have fun learning about Landsat with these hands-on activities and explore the various benefits the Landsat series of satellites have brought to society since 1972.
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Landsat 8 sketch

“The advent of Landsat data enabled an unparalleled increase in our understanding of the Earth system.”

“We started with all of the Landsat images from the beginning of the [30-meter resolution era of the] Landsat program, so we could go back to 1984 and show how the surface of the planet had changed. It shows the changes in cities, the birth of cities. It shows flooding. It shows things like deforestation. It shows the incredible expansion of agriculture. There’s just so many things you get from that data set.”

“If you don’t do the calibration right, you can’t do anything else.”

“What we’re able to do now is track the flow of the world’s ice from pole to pole and on every continent.”

“It’s really by stepping back and looking at the Earth, observing these changes in their context from space, can we really understand what’s happening.”

“In many cases the Landsat archive has provided the only consistent source of information to monitor changes in the surface of the Earth.”

“When I arrived in Gombe 50-plus years ago, looking up at the stars, it never occurred to me that one day, we’d be relying on remote sensing—satellites circling the globe high above—to help unite communities of people and save Gombe’s chimpanzees. NASA—through its resources and data and funding—is helping us to apply the kinds of innovative solutions needed to address the complex problems people and chimpanzees face today.”

“The quality of the Landsat 8 images is simply amazing!”

“By analyzing velocity estimates extracted from 30 years of Landsat data, this study highlights the complex, and sometimes counterintuitive, interplay between surface meltwater and ice motion.”

“Landsat 8 imagery is an incredibly powerful resource. It is some of the most valuable open data produced by the US Government. Our partners rely on Landsat data for everything from evaluating droughts to tracking conflict.”

“Since late 2008, when Landsat data was made available to all users free of charge, over 22 million Landsat scenes have been downloaded through the USGS-EROS website—and the rate of downloads is still increasing.”