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.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, in conjunction with NASA and cognizant federal agencies, should study the technical, political, economic, institutional, and international issues which are involved in an operational Landsat system and should recommend a government policy role in satellite-based, remote-sensing technology. After reviewing the results of such a study, Congress and the executive branch should have better information on which to reach a decision as to whether and to what extent the government should support an operational, satellite-based Earth resources information system.


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