Landsat Satellites See 40 Years of Earth’s Beauty and Strife From Space
Image: Swirls of yellow streak a deep blue sea around a long island In the style of Van Gogh’s painting “Starry Night,” massive congregations of greenish phytoplankton swirl in the dark water around Gotland, a Swedish island in the Baltic Sea. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/USGS
The changing face of our planet has been documented in stunning detail over the last 40 years by the longest-running Earth-observing satellite program, called Landsat.
Today, on the 40th anniversary of the launch of the first Landsat satellite, scientists and government officials took time out to commemorate the technology that’s revealed our world in a whole new light.
“The Landsat program has given each and every one of us in every part of the world a thoroughly objective, continuous look at ourselves in the mirror since 1972,” Anne Castle, assistant secretary for water and science at the U.S. Department of the Interior, said during a news briefing at the Newseum museum in Washington, D.C.