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An all-seeing eye: NASA launches the next satellite generation



The younger sister of Landsat 8 has just arrived in space, with the new satellite working to help scientists curb climate change.

New satellite takes off from California

Another set of eyes is dawning upon us from space, following the successful launch of NASA’s new satellite Landsat 9.

After successfully launching from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on Monday at 2.12 pm local time, the satellite will orbit the earth at an altitude of 705 kilometres.

In conjunction with its sister Landsat 8, the satellite will capture images of earth every eight days.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson says the satellite, along with other NASA and global tools, will help the space agency in its efforts to study planet earth and its climate systems.

“With a 50-year data bank to build on, Landsat 9 will take this historic and invaluable global program to the next level,” Nelson says.

“We look forward to working with our partners at the U.S. Geological Survey and the Department of the Interior again on Landsat Next, because we never stop advancing our work to understand our planet.”

An attempt to curb climate change

Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at NASA, says the images captured by the satellite will help researchers in their efforts to curb climate change, as they work to gain advice on crop, irrigation water and forest management.

“Landsat 9 will be our new eyes in the sky when it comes to observing our changing planet,” Zurbuchen says.

“With these satellites working together in orbit, we’ll have observations of any given place on our planet every two days.”

Landsat 9 is just another addition to the ongoing project which was first launched in 1972.

Today, Landsat continues to circle the sky, collecting images of the physical material covering the planet and climate change.

NASA administrators say Landsat 9 is the best satellite they’ve launched in the entire project.

“The Landsat mission is like no other,”  Karen St. Germain, director of the Earth Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington says.

“This data can help us understand, predict, and plan for the future in a changing climate.”

Written by Rebecca Borg

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