New Landsat earth observation satellite


Launch of the Landsat Data
Continuity Mission spacecraft
from the Vandenberg
Air Force Base, California,
(Image courtesy of United
Launch Alliance

The latest satellite in the Landsat series was launched into orbit today, continuing almost 40 years of land observation of the Australian landscape and surrounding regions.

Announced by the Minister for Resources and Energy, the Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP, the launch took place at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, USA, and marks an important new stage in Australia's role as an international satellite mission collaborator with the United States Geological Survey.

Geoscience Australia is the Australian Government provider of satellite imagery, and has a long history with the Landsat series, beginning with data acquisition in September 1979.

Landsat data is used to support a wide range of activities including emergency mitigation and management, mineral exploration, urban planning and regional development.

Launch of the new satellite coincides with the announcement that its predecessor - Landsat 5 - was inducted into the Guinness World Records as the 'longest-operating Earth observation satellite'.