“By analyzing 34 years of [Landsat] data, we estimated that about 56% of the rivers globally are affected by seasonal ice [and] that there is 2.5 percentage points decline of river ice globally during this time.”


“What makes this [Landsat 8] mission team special is the fervor they brought to task. They were challenged to retain the historic data continuity, yet take advantage of new technology while balancing cost and complexity. Few, if any, missions face such a challenge with such consequences on the line. After more than a decade of dedication, this Team launched a new sensor that was more sensitive and robust than previous sensors, and provided not only data continuity but even more and better d…


“I really believe that Landsat data made a change in how we perceive global change. All of the things we have done so far would not have been possible without the unique Landsat dataset”


“The first step of ecosystem accounting is to actually map the dynamics of ecosystems over time.”


“There are roughly 400 billion land pixels in a single [Landsat] global mosaic.” (With at least one image of every location on Earth per season every year, the entire 43-year Landsat record contains more than 50 trillion pixels.)


“What a Landsat it is! The data are strikingly good and the delivery system is flawless. Landsat 8 arrives just as Landsat data use has exploded under the free data policy and the ability to deliver geolocated and atmospherically-corrected products… new and exciting applications are being revealed daily.”


“Continental scale applications of medium and high-resolution earth observation data are becoming increasingly important and feasible, driven largely by free and open access to the Landsat archive…the Landsat archive offers a temporal dimension for decades long retrospective analysis and ongoing monitoring capabilities.”


“Landsat 8 can collect more than 700 images per day—14 times as much as in the 1980s.”


“This project would have been entirely impossible without the free and open-access data policy of the NASA/USGS Landsat-data archive.”


“Until we made the map of coral reefs with Landsat 7, global maps of reefs had not improved a lot since the amazing maps that Darwin drafted.”


“Agricultural engineer Jean-Francois Pekel and colleagues have created a kind of virtual time machine, showing past changes in surface water and providing a baseline for charting the changing future of our watery world. To achieve this feat, Pekel and colleagues used more than 3 million Landsat images of Earth’s lakes, wetlands, and rivers taken between 1984 and 2015.”


“The tracking of over-irrigated areas for targeting irrigation advisory texts was completely dependent on Landsat TIR data.”


“The USGS’ incredible gift of open-source [Landsat] imagery and this kind of tool are truly advancing what non-scientists can expect when it comes to views of their planet. Never before have regular people had such ready access to geographic data at this depth and quality.”


“Landsat 8 represents yet another substantial advance to continuing a 40 year land data record, essential to understanding the Earth’s biosphere, anthropogenic changes to land use and land cover, the terrestrial carbon cycle, and the consequences for climate and biodiversity. This important extension to the Landsat series, the Landsat 8 mission, was achieved, through an outstanding interagency and industrial partnership, effectively managed to achieve breakthrough improvements in satellite …


“The long, consistent view of Earth from space provided by Landsat sparks advances in science, enables more efficient natural resources management, and promotes profitable applications of the data in commerce and industry. In step with the National Research Council and other objective reviews, the non-federal Landsat Advisory Group has found that the broad benefits of Landsat far outweigh the cost.”


“The Landsat collection 1 datasets represent a milestone in remote sensing science, with comparatively stable radiometric calibration and atmospheric correction.”


“A recent industry report estimates that total annual value of $2.19 billion, far exceeding the multi-year total cost of building, launching, and managing Landsat satellites and sensors. The value is derived from consumer use of the data. There is no inherent value in idle data.”


“The first year we made Landsat open, we put out 25,000 Landsat scenes. Today, we put out millions of scenes a year.”


“Landsat and SRTM are my eyes on the ground. Without them I am totally blind. They are great gifts to humanity.”


“Landsat represents a public good, Earth-observation infrastructure that allows everyone to study their respective land resources and their change over time.”


“The community was very vocal regarding the value of a free and open data policy.”


“Landsat is the only satellite data archive that allows the quantification of vegetation and flooding dynamics relationships across such a large area. Key features unique to the Landsat archive that are paramount for our work include the archive’s temporal depth and detail provided by over a quarter century of systematically acquired time series of imagery at management-relevant spatial resolution.”


“Landsat 8 has been instrumental in monitoring smoke plumes as they spread across the Ninewa plains.”


“Until recently the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has relied on very high spatial resolution imagery to assess environmental conditions that may pose threats to national security. This project has demonstrated the beneficial use of Landsat to assess water quality at a regional scale, which enables a broader understanding of changing environmental conditions.”


Landsat 9 bw
Landsat 9 bw
Landsat 9 bw

The NASA/USGS Landsat Program provides the longest continuous space-based record of Earth’s land in existence. Landsat data give us information essential for making informed decisions about Earth’s resources and environment.