NEW EYE IN THE SKY

  • Recently, NASA has launched an earth monitoring satellite called Landsat 9 from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The satellite is a joint mission of NASA and the US Geological Survey (USGS).
  • This satellite is referred to as NASA’s’ new eye in the sky’ that will help study climate change.

Important points:

  • Landsat-9 is the continuation of a series of Earth-observing spacecraft stretching back almost 50 years.
  • The first Landsat satellite was launched in 1972 and since then, Landsat satellites have collected images of earth and helped understand how land usage has changed over the decades.
  • In 2008, it was decided that all Landsat images will be free and publicly available and the policy has helped scores of researchers, farmers, policy analysts, glaciologists, and seismologists.
  • Landsat images have been used to study the health of forests, coral reefs, monitor water quality and melting glaciers.
  • The Landsat 9 joins Landsat 8 that was launched in 2013 and the satellites together will collect images of Earth’s surface.
  • It takes 8 days to capture the whole Earth.
  • Landsat 9 carries instruments similar to the other Landsat satellites, but it is the most technologically advanced satellite of its generation.

Sentinel Satellites

  • It is a family of satellites developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) under the Copernicus Programme.
  • The Copernicus Programme is the Earth Observation Programme managed by the ESA, launched in 1998.
  • It was named after the scientist and observer Nicolaus Copernicus. Copernicus’ theory of the heliocentric (sun-centric) universe made a pioneering contribution to modern science.

SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT

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