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March 4, 2013 - Landsat Legacy

Landsat Legacy NASA’s Landsat program, begun in 1972, was the first series of orbiting spacecraft designed to monitor Earth’s land masses. The third Landsat satellite was launched into near-polar orbit thirty-five years ago this week, and it captured multi-spectral images of Earth for five years. Since 1999, Landsat 7 has built on that legacy, capturing informative—and stunning—multi-spectral images like this montage of landforms in Iran’s largest desert, the Dasht-e Kavir, or Great Salt Desert. The almost uninhabited region covers an area of more than 77,000 square kilometers (29,730 square miles) and is a mix of dry streambeds, desert plateaus, mudflats, and salt marshes. Extreme heat, dramatic daily temperature swings, and violent storms are the norm in this inhospitable place.

Image credit: USGS EROS Center / US Dept of Interior / NASA

Weekly Calendar

March 4-10, 2013

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Monday 4

Mercury in inferior conjunction
Last Quarter Moon 4:53 PM ET

1979: Jupiter’s rings discovered
1994: STS-62 Columbia launched

Tuesday 5

Moon at perigee

1512: Gerardus Mercator born
1978: Landsat 3 launched
1979: Voyager 1 flies by Jupiter
1982: Venera 14 lands on Venus, returns color photos of Venus’s surface

Wednesday 6

1787: Joseph Fraunhofer born
1986: Vega 1 flies by Halley’s Comet
2009: Kepler Observatory launched

Thursday 7

1792: John Herschel born
1837: Henry Draper born
1962: OSO-1 launched
1969: Apollo 9 astronauts complete first solo flight of lunar module

Friday 8

1979: Active volcanoes found on Io
2001: STS-102 Discovery launched
2007: Orbital Express launched
2008: First Automated Transfer Vehicle launched

Moon phase Saturday 9

1564: David Fabricius born
1961: Sputnik 9 launched
1986: Vega 2 flies by Halley’s Comet

Moon phase Sunday 10

Daylight Savings Time begins 2:00am

Neptune 6° south of Moon

1977: Rings discovered around Uranus
2006: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter arrives at Mars


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