Screen Capture from 1977 video
May 22, 20141977 Video: Landsat—Satellite for all Seasons

This 1977 NASA video series, “Landsat—Satellite for All Seasons,” provides examples of early Landsat applications.

Landsat Reserchers, 1973
May 8, 2014Landsat Video From the Archives

The Landsat program is the longest continuous global record of Earth observations from space—ever. On July 23, 1972 NASA launched the first satellite in this program, then known as ERTS, the Earth Resources Technology Satellite and later renamed Landsat 1. In 2012, for the 40th birthday of Landsat, NASA edited together selections of an archive video from 1973 about the ERTS launch. Featured in this 1973 video was a senior geologist at NASA, Nicholas Short, and at Dartmouth College, Robert Simpson and David Lindgren. NASA and the U.S. Department of the Interior through the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) jointly manage Landsat, and the USGS preserves a more than 40-year archive of Landsat images that is freely available over the Internet.

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 at approximately 4.7 miles per second. The satellite travels from north to south while it’s over the sunlit portion of the Earth, and travels south to north over the dark side of the Earth. One orbit takes about 99 minutes, so that’s about approximately 15 orbits in a 24 hour period.

S. Covington
Jan 24, 2014How to Manage a Satellite Going 17K MPH

Covington tells the story of Landsat 5, which was launched in 1984 for a three-year lifetime and was kept alive for nearly 29 years through ingenuity and luck.

Earth data
Jan 22, 2014Unleashing the Power of Open Data Unanimously Endorsed for Another 10 Years

In Geneva on January 17, 2014, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) received unanimous endorsement to unleash the power of open data for a second decade. There was agreement to continue building on the organization’s first 10 years of pioneering environmental advances, which are designed to improve the quality of life of people everywhere. Fueled by open data, GEO’s efforts are now evident in most regions of the world. GEO is comprised of 90 member nations, including the European Commission and 77 Participating Organizations.

Barb Ryan
Jan 21, 2014Unleashing the Power of Earth Observations

In December 2013, the Secretariat Director of the Group on Earth Observations gave a TEDx talk in Barcelona, Spain making the case that all Earth-oberservation data collected from governments and institutions should be open and available to everyone. She illustrates how this could reduce hunger and improve the quality of life of all Earth’s inhabitants. Ryan emphasizes that Earth observation data show Earth without political boundaries, as an entire system.

CLASlite in Peru
Dec 18, 2013Forest Monitoring: Bringing the Power to the People

Forest conservation is an issue of major concern to communities large and small around the globe. But gathering the monitoring data needed to make the right decisions has proven extremely prohibitive for individuals to entire governments.

Dr. Martha Anderson, research scientist, USDA
Aug 26, 2012Mapping Water Use from Space

Aug 26, 2012 • [Source: Library of Congress] Dr. Martha Anderson, research scientist, USDA, talks about using images from the Landsat satellite program to monitor water use and drought on U.S. farms with pinpoint accuracy to measure evapotranspiration, the total amount of water used in the process of growing crops.

Nov 15, 2011Capturing Landsat’s Long History

Nov 15, 2011 • In an era when receipt of images from Earth-orbiting satellites is “routine”, it’s hard to recall that a few short decades ago this wasn’t the case. Landsat has stood at the forefront of space-based Earth observation, and has been the trailblazer for land remote sensing as it’s known today. The Landsat […]