July 23, 2012 - Landsat Turns Forty

Landsat Turns Forty In 1965, the U.S. Geological Survey proposed the idea of a remote sensing satellite program to gather facts about the natural resources of Earth. In 1970, NASA had permission to build Landsat 1, which was launched forty years ago this week. Since then, the Landsat series of satellites has collected millions of multi-spectral images that make it possible to study the long-term environmental effects of everything from natural coastal erosion to urban sprawl. The image above was taken by Landsat 7, the newest member of the Landsat family. It shows the delta of the Lena River, one of the largest rivers in the world. The Lena Delta Reserve is the most extensive protected wilderness area in Russia. It is an important refuge and breeding grounds for many species of Siberian wildlife.

Image credit: USGS National Center for EROS and NASA Landsat Project Science Office

Weekly Calendar

July 23-29, 2012

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 23

1972: Landsat 1 launched
1999: STS-93 Columbia launched, deploys Chandra X-Ray Observatory

Moon phase Tuesday 24

Mars 4° north of Moon

1950: First rocket launched from Cape Canaveral
1969: Apollo 11 crew returns to Earth
1975: Apollo-Soyuz crew returns to Earth, last US splashdown
2009: Canaries Great Telescope dedicated

Moon phase Wednesday 25

Spica 1.2° north of Moon
Saturn 6° north of Moon

1978: Viking 2 orbiter ceases operation
1984: Svetlana Savitskaya becomes first woman to walk in space
2000: Zvezda Service Module docks with International Space Station

Moon phase Thursday 26

First Quarter Moon 4:56 AM ET

1958: Explorer IV launched
1971: Apollo 15 launched, fourth lunar landing mission, first mission to use lunar rover
2005: STS-114 Discovery launched

Moon phase Friday 27

Moon phase Saturday 28

Mercury in inferior conjunction
Delta Aquarid meteor shower

1851: First photo of total solar eclipse
1964: Ranger 7 lunar probe launched
1973: Skylab 3 crew launched on 59-day mission

Moon phase Sunday 29

Moon at perigee
Delta Aquarid meteor shower

1985: STS-51F Challenger launched

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.