Landsat’s latest spacecraft, Landsat 2, has returned its first images from space of the changing Earth to Earth. It launched two months ago. 

NASA and US Geological Survey (USGS) launched Landsat 9 from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, September 27.

These images show Detroit, Florida Panhandle, and the surrounding area, along with Navajo Country in Arizona.  

In this initial round of photos from space by the US, images were also published by the agency of America of high Himalayas as well as the Kimberley area of Western Australia. 

This ninth Landsat satellite will continue a 1972-era program. 

NASA and the USGS have released the first set of pictures from the Landsat 9 satellite since it launched in September. The city of Kathmandu, Nepal, seen at the bottom left of this Landsat 9 image, lies in a valley south of the Himalayan Mountains between Nepal and China. Glaciers, and the lakes formed by glacial meltwater, are visible in the top middle of this image

NASA and USGS released their first images from Landsat 9, the satellite that launched on September 9. At the bottom left, you can see Kathmandu, Nepal. It is located south of the Himalayan Mountains, between Nepalese and China. The top of the image shows glaciers and lakes created by glacial meltwater.

The satellite will become fully operational in January, taking thousands of images every week of the entire planet. The white sands of Pensacola Beach stand out in this Landsat 9 image of the Florida Panhandle of the United States, with Panama City visible under some popcorn-like clouds

In January the satellite will be fully operational and take thousands of images each week from all over the planet. This Landsat 9 photo of Florida Panhandle shows Pensacola Beach and Panama City under popcorn-like clouds.

In the Western US, in places like the Navajo Nation as seen in this Landsat 9 image, Landsat and other satellite data help people monitor drought conditions and manage irrigation water

Landsat 9 and other satellite data are used to monitor drought conditions in the Western US and help manage irrigation water.

The Landsat 9 spacecraft, run by NASA and the US Geological Survey (USGS), launched on September 27 from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California

NASA launched the Landsat 9 spacecraft from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California on September 27, 2012. 


Landsat 9 represents the newest satellite in the Landsat Series.

It will continue the decades long mission of recording Earth’s land surface and changing climate. 

Landsat 9 is largely identical to its predecessor Landsat 8 in order to reduce build time, and minimize the risk of missing observations. 

Landsat 9 will increase our ability to measure global changes at an appropriate scale.

In a statement, the USGS stated that this is “where we can distinguish human from natural causes of changes.” 

Landsat 9 thus will be a crucial component of the international strategy to monitor the state and health of the earth. 

Landsat users now have the opportunity to observe more frequently (every 8-days using 2 satellites).

Application such as crop condition reports, weekly deforestation alerts and water quality monitoring are all now possible.

NASA says the newly acquired images offer a “preview” of the way the mission will assist people in managing vital natural resources and understanding the effects of climate change.

These data will be added to the 50-year existing record. Landsat 9 and Landsat 8 work together to provide broad coverage across the entire planet. 

Bill Nelson, NASA Administrator, stated that Landsat 9’s initial images captured critical observations about the planet’s changing landscape. 

This program can not only save lives, but it has been proven effective in improving lives. 

‘NASA will continue to work with USGS to strengthen and improve accessibility to Landsat data so decision makers in America – and around the world – better understand the devastation of the climate crisis,’ he added.

This will help leaders and specialists to explain it and to be able to manage agricultural practices, conserve precious resources, and respond better to natural disasters.

These are the first images of light. They show many environments.

From Detroit, Michigan, with neighbouring Lake St Clair, to the intersection of cities and beaches along a changing Florida coastline, and images from Navajo Country in Arizona.

These data will be added to by USGS experts who monitor crops and manage irrigation water. 

New images provide data on the changes to the Himalayas, High Mountain Asia, and Northern Australia’s coastlines.

Landsat 9 has many improvements over its predecessor Landsat 8 which launched in 2013.   

Satellites with higher resolution transmit more data back to Earth. It can detect subtle differences over dark areas such as water.

Landsat 9, for example, can distinguish more than 16,000 colors of one wavelength color; Landsat 7 (the satellite that is being replaced) detects just 256 shades. 

Sediments swirl in Lake Erie and Lake St Clair in this Landsat 9 image of both Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario. The Great Lakes serve as sources of freshwater, recreational activity, transport, and habitat for the upper-midwestern US, and water quality remains a high priority

This Landsat 9 image shows sediments in Lake Erie (Michigan) and Lake St Clair (Ontario). Water quality is a top priority for the Great Lakes, which provide freshwater and transport as well as habitat and recreation opportunities in the US’ upper midwest.

Landsat users can now see subtler changes thanks to this enhanced sensitivity.

‘First light is a big milestone for Landsat users – it’s the first chance to really see the kind of quality that Landsat 9 provides. These satellites look incredible, according to Jeff Masek NASA’s Landsat 9 Project Scientist at Goddard Space Flight Center. 

Landsat 9 will operate in conjunction with Landsat 8. This wealth of data will allow us to observe changes in our home world every eight days.

Landsat 9, which includes Landsat 9, also has two imaging instruments to help you capture the Earth. 

One of these is Operational Land Imager 2(OLI-2), which measures visible, near and infrared light across nine wavelengths.

The Thermal Infrared sensor 2 (TIRS-2), the other, detects thermal radiation at two wavelengths in order to measure Earth’s surface temperatures.

Landsat 9 carries two instruments designed to work together to capture a broad range of wavelengths

Landsat 9 is equipped with two instruments, which can work in conjunction to record a large range of wavelengths

NASA says these instruments will give Landsat 9 users essential information on crop health, irrigation, water quality and wildfire severity.

Karen St. Germain (Director, Earth Science Division, NASA Headquarters in Washington) stated, “The images and data from Landsat 9 expand our capacity to see how Earth changed over time.” 

“In an ever-changing climate, continual and free access Landsat and other NASA Earth observing data helps data users (including city planners and farmers) plan for the future.

Landsat 9 will hold a 100 day check-out before fully operating in January. It will test every system, subsystem, and calibrate all sensors.

After testing has been completed, USGS will launch Landsat 9 and Landsat 8. Together, the satellites will capture approximately 1,500 images every day of the Earth’s surface. They will cover the entire globe for eight days.

“The amazing first images from Landsat-9 satellite give us a peek into data that will allow us to make scientific-based decisions about key issues such as water use, wildfire effects, coral reef destruction, glacier retreat, ice-shelf retreat, and tropical deforestation,” said Dr David Applegate, acting director of the USGS.