||Landsat is a pioneering US land remote sensing satellite program which has provided a continuous supply of synoptic, repetitive, multispectral data of the Earth's land surfaces since 1972. Over the years a large international user community evolved along with the Landsat series. The program opened entire new fields of research, providing insights into geologic, agricultural, and land-use surveys, and led eventually to new paths of resource exploration - in all, for a better understanding of the Earth system.
The primary mission objective was to monitor Earth resources with two imaging systems and to achieve periodic and complete coverage of the United States via multispectral, high spatial resolution images of solar radiation reflected from the Earth's surface. Secondary objectives included acquisition of multispectral images over important major land masses other than the United States, at least once per season, and the relay of data acquired by ground based platforms viathe Landsat satellite to a central analysis facility to support the modelling of Earth resource oriented processes.
On reflection, the success of the Landsat program stimulated new approaches to data analysis and gave impetus to new sensor designs. In addition international participation was fostered on many levels which spawned other Landsat-like programs such as the SPOT series of France, the Resurs series of Russia, and the IRS series of India.