30 Years of Earth Remote Sensing

July 26, 2002

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Provided by: NASA/GSFC; USGS
Summary authors & editors: NASA/GSFC; USGS

On the edge of the Kalahari Desert in Namibia, sand dunes are encroaching onto once-fertile lands in the north. Healthy vegetation appears red in this Landsat 7 image acquired in August, 2000; in the center, notice the lone red dot. It is the result of a center-pivot irrigation system, evidence that at least one optimistic farmer continues to work the fields despite the approaching sand.

NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey this week celebrate Landsat's 30th anniversary of imaging the Earth. On July 23, 1972, NASA launched the first Landsat satellite, beginning the longest-running record of Earth's continental surfaces as seen from space -- a record unmatched in quality, detail, coverage and importance. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the first Landsat launch, NASA and the USGS have assembled an exhibit called "Landsat: Earth as Art." The image above is part of the exhibit.

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