NASA prepares to launch satellite that will continue historic record of global change.
06 February 2013
When Landsat 5 fell silent on 6 January, scientists across the globe mourned its passing but gave thanks for its fortitude. The satellite had lasted a record-breaking 28 years, snapping images of the changing planet from melting glaciers to burning rainforests, while its successors faltered. Landsat 6 failed during launch and Landsat 7, at 13 years old, is partially blind and has limited fuel. With the passing of Landsat 5, the future of the world’s longest-running — and perhaps most influential — set of data on global change rests with Landsat 8, which is scheduled to launch next week from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.