To ensure that climate change is not a problem, the U.S. launched Monday’s latest satellite into orbit from California.
Landsat 9 was launched into space aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. It lifted off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in foggy conditions at 11:12 AM. More than an hour later, the satellite was successfully detached from the rocket’s top stage.
NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey have collaborated on Landsat 9, a joint project. This will extend the nearly 50-year-old record of coastal and land observations that began in 1972 with the launch of the first Landsat.
Landsat 9 will follow the orbital track from Landsat 7, which will then be decommissioned.
Landsat 9 has an imaging sensor that can record visible and other parts of the spectrum. It also features a thermal sensor that measures surface temperatures.
NASA’s Landsat program captures changes in Earth’s landscape, including the movement of glaciers and the growth of cities. It is NASA’s longest-running continuous record of Earth observation from orbit.
Deb Haaland from the Interior Secretary went to Vandenberg to witness the launch. She said that Landsat provides “a rich source of data” that can be used to improve people’s lives and help them deal with climate change.
Haaland stated that “We are in the middle of the climate crisis right at the moment, we see it every day — droughts, wildfires and hurricanes that decimated parts of the South, all the way up to New England,” during a NASA TV interview.
Haaland stated that images like those that Landsat 9 will send back to us will be a tremendous help in how we approach climate change.
According to Jeff Masek (Landsat 9 project scientist, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center), the Landsat program has accumulated over 9 million multispectral photos of Earth’s coast and land areas.
He stated that “using this record, we can really document the changes to the land environment during this period from both human activities and natural events,” at a prelaunch briefing.
This information can be used for a variety of purposes, including understanding and managing Earth’s resources.
Masek stated that Landsat was the best way to understand tropical deforestation rates… and other forest dynamics such as disturbances from hurricanes or wildfires, as well recovery of those disturbances over the time.
He said that Landsat is crucial for monitoring agricultural production and food security.
He said, “We can identify the crops that are grown on each field in the U.S.A and around the world.” “We can also examine the water consumption by crops.”
Landsat 9 was Vandenberg’s 2,000th launch since 1958. It is located on the Pacific coast north of Los Angeles and provides an ideal location for testing ballistic missiles or putting satellites in polar orbit.