LANDSAT 9 launch benefits the Mountain State

Landsat 9 Prepares for Launch

This photo provided by NASA shows the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with the Landsat 9 satellite onboard at Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif., on Monday, Sept. 27, 2021. A project of NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, Landsat 9 will work in tandem with a predecessor, Landsat 8, to extend a nearly 50-year data record of land and coastal regions that began with the launch of the first Landsat in 1972. (Bill Ingalls/NASA via AP)

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – A new satellite launching into Space will make foresters and farmers’ lives a little easier across the Mountain State.

LANDSAT 9 launched Monday at 2:27 PM Eastern Time and is the newest version of the satellite that tracks how the Earth has been changing over the past 20 years.

Since the first Landsat launch in 1972, Landsat satellites have provided us with continuous high-resolution images of Earth that are both stunning to look at, and packed with data that have helped shape our understanding of our planet. In particular, the decades-long data record helps researchers around the world understand how Earth is responding to natural and human-caused changes. Over almost 50 years, the Landsat satellites have watched as cities grow, rivers overflow their banks, sea levels rise, wildfires burn and farmers plant their crops.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

The data doesn’t just show the weather on the ground, but it can help West Virginia’s agricultural sector by tracking and comparing the Wild and Wonderful’s growth as time goes on.

“Trying to see how your fields are doing; it could be used for some precision agriculture and how much yield do you have. For forestry, you can see where changes are happening so you can see where deforestation is happening or where the trees are most healthy,” said NASA Research Scientist Lola Fatoyinbo.

LANDSAT 9 is a collaboration between NASA and the US Geological Survey and you already have the data at your fingertips.

It’s available for free on Google Earth.

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