The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) jointly operate Landsat. The two agencies are developing a follow-on initiative known as the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM). The LDCM spacecraft (LDCM 1 or Landsat 8), with its instrument payload, was planned for launch in December 2012, but is now scheduled for January 15, 2013, at the earliest. NASA advanced the project to its final pre-launch development phase November 8, 2011, proceeding to final assembly and testing of the integrated satellite system and the launch of the satellite.
This report discusses both the history and the future of Landsat.