Landsat satellites have continuously acquired space-based images of the Earth's land surface, coastal shallows, and coral reefs across four decades. The Landsat Program, a joint effort of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), was established to routinely gather land imagery from space. In practice, NASA develops remote-sensing instruments and spacecraft, launches satellites, and validates their performance. The USGS then assumes ownership and operation of the satellites, in addition to managing all ground-data reception, archiving, product generation, and distribution. The result of this program is a visible, long-term record of natural and human-induced changes on the global landscape.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Landsat: a global land imaging program
U.S. Geological Survey
Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center