Date: Friday, November 5, 2021
WASHINGTON — Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland today celebrated the release of the first images from Landsat 9, a joint satellite mission from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The satellite, which was successfully launched on September 27, will provide major improvements to our Earth observation capabilities and will ensure the continuation of the 50-year Landsat data record of Earth observations.
“Science is at the heart of the Interior Department’s mission. From protecting endangered species and monitoring drought, to managing wildfires and assessing energy development, we rely on the latest science, technology, and data to guide our decision-making,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. “The imagery provided by Landsat 9 will be integral to visualizing the globe's changing landscapes and empowering landowners, Tribes, and local and state authorities in their own planning and decision-making. We are so proud of USGS, NASA, and everyone who contributed to the successful launch of this groundbreaking technology, which will better support efforts of environmental sustainability, climate change resiliency, and economic growth around the world.”
These “first light” images show water quality in Detroit, Michigan with neighboring Lake St. Clair; the intersection of cities and beaches along a changing Florida coastline; and images from the Navajo Reservation in Arizona – all of which will add to the wealth of data helping us monitor crop health and manage irrigation water. The new images also provided data about the changing landscapes of the Himalayas in High Mountain Asia and the coastal islands and shorelines of Northern Australia.
The Earth-observing satellite will continue to collect essential data on Earth’s geologic formations, natural habitats, farmlands, cities, lakes, glaciers, coastlines and other surface features. The groundbreaking technology of this newest satellite will provide imagery at landscape-scale resolution that can be used to support the Department’s climate efforts.
NASA’s Landsat 9 team is in the midst of a 100-day check-out period, which involves testing the satellite’s different systems and subsystems and calibrating the instruments in preparation for handing the mission over to the USGS in January. The USGS will operate Landsat 9 along with Landsat 8, and together the two satellites will collect approximately 1,500 images of Earth’s surface every day, covering the globe every eight days.
More information on the images and the program can be found at the Landsat website.