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Kaitlin Carpenter
Applied Sciences Contributor

July 23, 2022 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Landsat’s first launch in 1972. A joint program of NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Landsat program introduced remote sensing from space and revolutionized the science and technology used in Earth science applications.

With continuous coverage since then, the satellite series provides the longest record of space-based land remote sensing data. Using this critical record of environmental and climate changes on Earth over the past 50 years, scientists and data users are able to monitor changes in land use by comparing the same areas days and even decades apart.

Today, Landsat’s unparalleled data archives are free, open, and accessible by anyone. Through training, funding, resources, and other support, the Applied Sciences Program empowers communities around the world to use Landsat and other Earth observation data to inform decision making and solve problems to improve life on Earth.

As noted by Applied Sciences Program Director Lawrence Friedl, "We wouldn’t be where we are today without Landsat paving the way."

Explore some of the NASA Earth Applied Sciences projects made possible thanks to Landsat Earth observations.

Landsat Anniversary Milestones

NASA & USGS feature: Landsat 9: Continuing 50 Years of eyes on our Changing Planet

Senate resolution introduced to honor Landsat’s contributions and designating July 23 as “Landsaturday”

Landsat 9 operational handover from NASA to USGS will occur at the Earth Resources Observation and Science Center in Sioux Falls, SD on August 11, 2022

Landsat 9: Applied Sciences Reflects on a Nearly 50-Year Legacy of Observing Our Home

Putting Landsat Data to Use in Applications

NASA Data Helps Jane Goodall Protect Chimpanzee Habitats: Preview [video]

The Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) uses satellite observations, including data from the Landsat satellite series, in their efforts to work in partnership with local residents to understand and protect chimpanzee habitats.

Utilizing NASA Earth Observations to Evaluate Invasive Species Cover in Riparian Areas of the Colorado River Basin

Monitoring the Urban Heat Island Effect on the Health of Residents in the New Orleans, Louisiana Metropolitan Area with Landsat and MODIS Land Surface Temperature Products

Using Landsat and Sentinel to Identify and Detect Giant Cane in Amistad National Recreation Area for Future Invasive Species Land Management

Analyzing and Mapping Landscape Disturbance across Glacier National Park Using a Landsat Time Series

Utilizing NASA Earth Observations to Explore Heat and Flood-Related Vulnerability in Urban Settings

satellite image of Bahamas with teal shallow waters surrounded by dark blue ocean
This natural color image of Eleuthera Island, the Bahamas, was taken by Landsat 9 on January 18, 2022. Credits: NASA/Michelle Bouchard

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