A USGS cartographer who had been cynical about the MSS producing cartographically accurate data with “a little mirror in space,” turned to his colleagues after seeing the first MSS image and said “Gentlemen, that’s a map.” He later wrote a letter to the MSS engineer Virginia Norwood stating “…the MSS is a real mapping instrument.”
Today, 40 years after the first Landsat launch, six Landsat satellites have successfully orbited the Earth supplying a continuous record of Earth’s changing landscape, and the next Landsat satellite is scheduled to launch in Feb. 2013. A poster presentation chronicling some of the Landsat history and imagery is available here (PDF file size = 185 MB).
+ NASA’s Earth Observatory: First Landsat image in U.S. archive
+ Looking back at the Landsat 1 launch (video, YouTube)
+ Landsat Looks and Sees
+ Landsat multimedia
The Pale Blue Dot Visualization Challenge—aimed at making Earth observation data accessible to everyone—has officially kicked off.