An artist’s view of the Landsat Data Continuity Mission spacecraft in orbit above the Gulf Coast of the U.S.
CREDIT: NASA/GSFC/Landsat

Monday Launch to Continue 40-Year Earth-Observing Mission

by Nola Taylor Redd, SPACE.com Contributor
Date: 10 February 2013 Time: 12:14 PM ET

When NASA’s Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) launches on Monday (Feb. 11), it will deliver to orbit the latest and most capable Earth-observing satellite in a four-decade long project to study the surface of our planet.

Examining Earth at a resolution of a quarter of an acre (0.1 hectare), the Landsat satellites have enabled a better understanding of deforestation, glacial retreat, the shrinking Antarctic ice sheet, increasing wildfires and other big changes taking place across the planet.

“All of these changes are occurring at rates unprecedented in human history due to an increasing population,” LDCM project scientist Jim Irons, of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., said during a press conference Friday (Feb 8).

“We will be able to continue monitoring these changes from the best Landsat satellite ever launched,” he added.

Read more: Monday Launch to Continue 40-Year Earth-Observing Mission | Space.com.

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