Landsat Series


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ESA's Earthnet Programme provided the initial means to access and exploit Earth Observation data.

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Artist's rendition of Landsat 8 in orbit. Copyright: NASA, OSC

The Landsat series is a joint USGS and NASA-led enterprise for Earth Observation that represents the world's longest running system of satellites for moderate-resolution optical remote sensing for land, coastal areas and shallow waters.

The first Landsat mission was launched in 1972, and was the first Earth Observation satellite with the goal to monitor the world's land. It was soon followed by successors, however the Landsat 6 satellite failed to achieve its orbit and the communication with satellite was never established. The series continues to this day, making Landsat the longest continuous Earth imaging programme in history.

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The objective of the Landsat series is to image repetitively Earth's land and coastal areas with the aim of monitoring changes to those areas over time.

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Landsat-1 satellite
Landsat 1 to 3 - Landsat 1 was launched in 1972, and was the first Earth observation satellite with the goal to monitor the world's land. Successful launches followed with Landsat 2 in 1975 and Landsat 3 in 1978.

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Landsat 4 and 5 - Landsat 4 was launched in 1982 and Landsat 5 in 1984. It carried the Multi Spectral Scanner and Thematic Mapper instruments.

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Landsat 7
Landsat 7 was launched in 1999. It carries the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus 8-band whiskbroom scanning radiometer instrument.

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Landsat 8
Landsat 8 was launched in 2013. It carries the Operational Land Imager and Thermal Infrared Sensor instrument

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