One of our readers, Michelle, emailed me a press release announcing the release of the US National Land Imaging Program plan, which is the result of the work done by Future of Land Imaging Interagency Working Group (FLIIWG). The plan is contained within a 120-page report, which is available here, and offers a set of policy recommendations, most importantly the creation of a National Land Imaging Program under the direction of the Department of the Interior. The actual plan itself is detailed in the first 8 pages of the document, with the remainder devoted to Appendices and related documents. I think one of the more interesting points in the policy report is the statement that, despite its amazing success, the Landsat program “has never been considered a truly operational capability. All Landsat satellites have been justified, built, and flown as experimental, scientific research systems with no assurance of the long-term continuity of the data.”
For those not already familiar with the issues related to US medium-resolution remote sensing programs, the supporting documents contained in the appendices and exhibits really give a good background about the history of satellite programs like Landsat.