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Satellite Images

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was initiated by President Eisenhower in 1958. When President Kennedy announced, in 1961, that NASA was going to send astronauts to the moon, the country was wild with enthusiasm. The goal of the Apollo program was achieved on July 20, 1969 with the landing of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldren on the moon.

While the public's attention was focused outward into space during the 1960s, NASA was also investigating how spacecraft could provide data about Earth's surface. In 1967 what eventually became known as the Landsat program was developed. The Landsat program has been tremendously successful and has provided important information about our Earth and how it is changing.

The first satellite of the program was launched on July 23, 1972. It carried an experimental sensor called a Multi-Spectral Scanner (MSS) that provided spectacular data and became an integral part of the program. The MSS was carried aboard the first five satellites (Landsat 1-5). It provided four bands of data with a ground resolution of approximately 80 meters.

The Thematic Mapper (TM) was launched on the fourth satellite. This sensor had better spatial resolution (30 meters) and offered seven bands of data. Landsat 4 and Landsat 5 carried both the MSS and TM.

ariel view of Mount Shasta with snow

Thematic Mapper
May 20, 1988 (Band 4)
Can you find the Lava Park lava flow, Shastina, the Military Pass lava flow,
and the Mount Shasta Ski & Board Park on the larger image?

An Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM) was developed for Landsat 6 but a launch failure prevented it from ever being tested. The latest satellite in the program, Landsat 7, was launched in 1999 and carries an Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+). In addition to seven refined bands of data with a resolution of 30 meters, it offers a panchromatic band with a 15 meter resolution.

The map below shows the area covered in each satellite scene of this region. Click on the map to see more detail about the area covered. Five satellite scenes of this area are available: a MSS from June 29, 1974; a MSS from June 13, 1985; a MSS from June 8, 1992, a TM from May 20, 1988; and an ETM+ from July 14, 1999.

map of area covered in satellite scenes
Area covered in satellite scenes
(Click map to see road and city map of area outlined in green.)

Sample satellite images of the Mount Shasta region are available in the thumbnail collection provided below. Satellite images are often called false-color composites because the bands of data record information beyond the visible spectrum.

Satellite Thumbnails

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