Landsat 8 is up and orbiting!

Atlas 5 Rocket With Landsat PayloadFun day today watching the LDCM (Landsat Data Continuity Mission) make its successful launch of the newest and coolest sensor in the Landsat family. The flawless launch from Vandenburg AFB was witnessed with lots of cheering and earth-themed cupcakes in Mulford Hall!

While I am not actively using Landsat imagery, I used Landsat 4 and 5 imagery for my dissertation, back in the day, and use it still to introduce geographic concepts in class. And I am super excited to see the new imagery. The sensor has similar spectral bands to the ETM+ sensor on Landsat 7, but also I think includes a new coastal aerosol band (443 nm) and cirrus detection band (1375 nm). The legacy of the Landsat program is tremendous; the program has given us reliable, comprehensive, and detailed views of a dynamic earth for decades. It is a government sponsored science program with lasting impact.

Some nice write-ups about Landsat:

NASA Earth Observatory Landsat Looks and Sees
NASA Landsat:
USGS Landsat Missions:
Landsat Top 10:

Anyway, it was nice to have everyone on board to witness the launch! Thanks GIF folks and everyone else in the lab. Now we just have to watch out for DA14 on Friday!