US: In advance of the next Landsat spacecraft launch, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission, the US Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), has announced the selection of the Landsat Science Team. This expert team of scientists and engineers will serve a five-year term, from 2012-2017, and provide technical and scientific input to USGS and NASA on issues critical to the success of the Landsat programme.
“Landsat is a versatile tool that is used by farmers, scientists, and city planners,” said Matt Larsen, USGS Associate Director for Climate and Land Use Change. “In fact, it’s used by a broad range of specialists to assess some of the world’s most critical issues — the food, water, forests, and other natural resources needed for a growing world population. This team will help the Landsat programme reach its highest potential.”
Since 1972, the United States has acquired and maintained a unique, continuous record of the global land surface. This impartial record has become indispensable for detecting and monitoring natural and human-induced changes to the earth’s landscape.
The Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM), which will become Landsat 8 following launch in February 2013, is designed to extend Landsat’s comprehensive global record for at least five years.
“The team will form a science vanguard in advancing the analysis and application of Landsat data for science and resource management,” said Jim Irons, LDCM Project Scientist for NASA. “Their guidance will be invaluable as we plan for the long term future of the Landsat programme.”