Landsat 1 began an era of space-based resource data collection that changed the way science, industry, governments, and the general public view the Earth. For the last 25 years, the Landsat program - despite being hampered by institutional problems and budget uncertainties - has successfully provided a continuous supply of synoptic, repetitive, multi-spectral data of the Earth's land areas. These data have profoundly affected programs for mapping resources, monitoring environmental changes, and assessing global habitability. The societal applications this program generated are so compelling that international systems have proliferated to carry on the tasks initiated with Landsat data.
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The landsat program: Its origins, evolution, and impacts