Landsat is responsible for laying the groundwork for the basic international rules that govern how images from satellites are acquired and distributed. These rules are still followed today and apply to many other satellite missions. Landsat images are available online to anyone from any nation, helping continue the global partnership. Tomatsu Igarashi spoke about the future of the Landsat program and the expectations of the anticipated new satellite in the Landsat series of satellites, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM). LDCM will be able to provide higher quality products documenting important information on water resources, agricultural lands, fisheries, disaster areas and sanitation issues that will provide information on matters that directly impact life everywhere on Earth, continuing forty years of global land records.
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Safeguarding freshwater resources is crucial, and while scientists use a variety of ground-based techniques to gauge water quality, the Landsat program has provided water quality data from orbit for decades.