Press Release

Briefing to Celebrate 40 Years of Continuous Earth Observations

By SpaceRef Editor
July 17, 2012
Filed under , , ,
Briefing to Celebrate 40 Years of Continuous Earth Observations

WASHINGTON — NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. EDT, Monday, July 23, to highlight the accomplishments of the world’s longest-running Earth-observing satellite program — Landsat. The briefing will be held at the Newseum at 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, and feature extensive imagery of our changing planet and local U.S. landscapes.

In cooperation with the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and its science agency, USGS, NASA launched the first Landsat satellite July 23, 1972. The resulting 40-year archive of Earth observations from the Landsat fleet forms an impartial, comprehensive, and easily accessed register of human and natural changes on the land. This information supports the improvement of human and environmental health, biodiversity, energy and water management, urban planning, disaster recovery and crop monitoring.

During the briefing, NASA and USGS will announce the 10 most significant images from the Landsat record, the U.S. regions selected for the “My American Landscape” contest showing local environmental changes, and the top five Landsat “Earth As Art” images selected in an online poll.

The panelists for the briefing are:

— Anne Castle, assistant secretary for water and science, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington
— Waleed Abdalati, chief scientist, NASA Headquarters, Washington
— Jeff Masek, NASA Landsat project scientist, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
— Tom Loveland, USGS senior scientist, Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, Sioux Falls, S.D.
— Jim Irons, Landsat Data Continuity Mission project scientist, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
— Roger Auch, research geographer, EROS Center, Sioux Falls, S.D.

Media may ask questions of the panelists during the briefing. Media wanting to attend the briefing must send their name, affiliation and telephone number to Steve Cole at no later than 4 p.m. EDT, July 20. Reporters unable to attend the briefing in person can ask questions during the event via Twitter using the hashtag #asknasa. NASA Television and the agency’s Web site will provide live briefing coverage.

For information on receiving NASA TV, go to:

For NASA TV streaming video, scheduling and downlink information, visit:

The Landsat program is jointly managed by NASA and DOI/USGS. NASA is preparing to launch the next Landsat satellite in February 2013. For more information about the Landsat program, visit: and

SpaceRef staff editor.