Landsat's Role in an Earth Resources Information System

PSAD-77-58: Published: Jun 10, 1977. Publicly Released: Jun 10, 1977.

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Landsat is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) experimental project to determine the usefulness of satellite-acquired data for the management of the Earth's environment and natural resources. Costs for the first three missions and a proposed fourth mission are estimated at up to $656 million. However, greater questions than cost must also be faced.

Landsat already has provided information previously unavailable; future technology may provide even more valuable information. Continued government support of research and development of remote-sensing technology is needed. However, committing the government to support an operational Landsat system is premature. Such action should be taken only if further study reveals that the benefits to be gained justify the expense and resources required to establish the system.

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