Who will fund Landsat?


  • Susan Bush


A first-ever joint hearing of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence was held on June 26 to ascertain the true value of the civilian satellite program—Landsat—to the scientific, environmental, and military communities.

Landsats collect multispectral images that are used for such purposes as environmental monitoring, oil and gas exploration, and national security. Since the first launch in 1972, Landsat has provided a continuous data record that has proved invaluable in global change research. Currently, Landsats 4 and 5 are in orbit, with Landsat 6 still on schedule for a mid-1992 launch. No funding has been requested for any follow-on to Landsat 6, making users of the data uncertain that their future projects will go ahead.