BackForward Satellite Programme: Landsat 

Programme details
Programme description
  • Series of seven operational satellites for high-resolution land observation.
  • USA programme: NASA responsible of the development of the space segment, USGS responsible of mission requirements definition, development of the ground segment and full system operation.
  • The platforms are actively stabilised over 3 axes.
  • The design life time of the satellites was 3 years for the earlier flights units, progressively increased up to 7 years for the last unit.
  • The satellites exploit geosynchronous orbits around 10:00.
  • The replacement policy is based on launching satellites in sequence, roughly 6 months before the expected end-of-life of a satellite.
  • See detailed description at
Data circulation
  • Selected images stored onboard and downlinked to stations in Fairbanks and Svalbard.
  • Real-time downlink to a network of appointed acquisition stations in X-band.
  • All data concentrated to the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Data Center (EDC) of the USGS for processing and distribution.
Programme lifetime 1972 - 2022
Associated satellites and instruments

Note: red tag => no longer operational , green tag => operational , blue tag => planned