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Landsat 7

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Status: Current
Mission Category: Earth Observing System (EOS)
Launch Date: April 15, 1999
Launch Location: Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA

July 23, 2012, was the 40th anniversary of the launch of the first of a series of Landsat satellites that have continuously supplied the world with global land surface images. Landsat 5, launched in 1984, continues to provide important observations of the landmass of the planet and has established a record for reliability in the civilian satellite fleet. Landsat 7 joined Landsat 5 in April 1999. Both Landsat 5 and Landsat 7 provide data for remote sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS) science and applications around the world. NASA was responsible for the development and launch of Landsat 7 and the development of the ground system. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is responsible for operating the satellite, distributing the data, and maintaining an archive of Landsat 7 and other remotely sensed data.

Key Landsat 7 Facts

Altitude:Distance from sea level. 705km
Inclination: 98.2°
Local Node:Approximate time, at the equator when vehicle is directly overhead. 10:05 a.m.
Origination: Joint with USGS
Instruments: ETM+ (Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus)
Project Scientist(s): Jeff G. Masek
Deputy Project Scientist(s): James R. Irons

Related Publications:

Relevant Science Focus Areas:

  • Carbon Cycle, Ecosystems, and Biogeochemistry
  • Earth Surface and Interior

Relevant Science Questions:

  • How is the global Earth system changing?

Science Goals:

  • Acquire sunlit, essentially cloud-free global seasonal coverage of Earth’s land masses.
  • Provide well-calibrated radiometric and geometric data.
  • Meet requirements for global-change research by providing imagery that are consistent with the acquisition geometry, spatial resolution, spectral characteristics, and calibration of previous Landsat data.

Related Applications:

  • Agricultural Efficiency
  • Air Quality
  • Aviation
  • Carbon Management
  • Coastal Management
  • Disaster Management
  • Ecological Forecasting
  • Energy Management
  • Homeland Security
  • Invasive Species
  • Public Health
  • Water Management