The latest Landsat satellite has successfully separated from the Atlas V booster and it's now alive and well orbiting Earth. It's the most powerful and modern Landsat satellite yet, the last member of a saga that has provided with vital information to everyone, from farmers to environmental scientists.
The Landsat Data Continuity Mission is now in orbit, after launching Monday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Calif. After about three months of testing, the U.S. Geological Survey will take control and the mission, renamed Landsat 8, will extend more than 40 years of global land observations critical to energy and water management, forest monitoring, human and environmental health, urban planning, disaster recovery and agriculture.
So rejoice, my fellow humans, because this is money very well spent. Using its data, it will save the United States and the rest of the world billions of dollars, helping us plan for the future and avoid or alleviate any catastrophes. [NASA Goddard]