NASA Launches New Mission To Monitor Earth’s Landscapes From Space In “Major Milestone”

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Landsat 9, a NASA satellite designed to monitor the Earth’s land surface, successfully launched. Monday at 8:00 a.m. EDT, from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. Landsat 9 was launched from Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex 3E on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket in a joint mission with the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Around 83 minutes after launch, the Svalbard satellite-monitoring ground station in Norway received signals from the spacecraft. As it approaches its final orbital altitude of 438 miles (705 kilometers), Landsat 9 is performing as expected. “NASA studies our own planet and its climate systems using the unique assets of our own unprecedented fleet, as well as the instruments of other nations,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said. “Landsat 9 will take this historic and invaluable global program to the next level, with a 50-year data bank to build on.” We’re excited to work on Landsat Next with our partners at the US Geological Survey and the Department of the Interior again, because we never stop learning more about our planet. ”

“Today’s successful launch is a major milestone in the nearly 50-year joint partnership between the USGS and NASA, who have worked together for decades to collect valuable scientific data and use that data to shape policy with the highest scientific integrity,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. “As the effects of the climate crisis worsen in the United States and around the world, Landsat 9 will provide data and imagery to assist scientists in making science-based decisions on key issues such as water use, wildfire impacts, coral reef degradation, glacier and ice-shelf retreat, and tropical deforestation. ”

In 1972, the first Landsat satellite was launched. Since then, NASA has maintained a Landsat satellite in orbit to collect images of the physical material that covers our planet’s surface, as well as changes in land use. Researchers can use these images to track agricultural productivity, forest extent and health, water quality, coral reef habitat health, and glacier dynamics, among other things. “The Landsat mission is unlike any other,” Karen St. Germain, director of NASA Headquarters in Washington’s Earth Science Division, said. “Landsat satellites have been orbiting our planet for nearly 50 years, providing an unparalleled record of how its surface has changed over timescales ranging from days to decades. We’ve been able to provide continuous and timely data for users ranging from farmers to resource managers and scientists thanks to our collaboration with the USGS. In a changing climate, this data can help us understand, predict, and plan for the future. ”

In orbit, Landsat 9 joins its sister satellite, Landsat 8. Every eight days, the two satellites will work together to collect images spanning the entire planet. “When it comes to observing our changing planet, Landsat 9 will be our new eyes in the sky,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s associate administrator for science. “By collaborating with other Landsat satellites and our European Space Agency partners who operate the Sentintel-2 satellites, we’re getting a more comprehensive view of Earth than ever before.” We’ll have observations of any given location on our planet every two days thanks to these satellites cooperating in orbit. This is critical for tracking crop growth and assisting decision-makers in monitoring the overall health of the planet and its natural resources. 004 $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

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