- 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.
- 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.
- 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