NASA is scheduled to launch the 8th Landsat satellite as part of the ongoing Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM).
The LDCM project is a collaboration between NASA and the U.S Geological Survey whose intention is to record and monitor the Earth's landscapes from space. Since 1972, LDCM satellites have been able to record the rate of deforestation, the explosive growth of cities and the effects of natural disasters. This information is considered valuable for its contribution to environmental and resource management.
The 8th satellite will record observations from 440 miles above the Earth, circling the planet 14 times a day. As it travels, the satellite will follow wavelength patterns along a 115-mile stretch, in order to record a greater variety of information.
According to NASA project scientist Jim Irons "this will be the best Landsat satellite ever in terms of quality and quantity" whose sensors are expected to generate about 400 images a day. However, operational data is not expected to come through until 90 days post-launch.
The launch takes place from the Vandenberg air force base in California.