Landsat Missions


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Most of the Landsat 8 and Landsat 7 acquisitions are selected automatically by the Long Term Acquisition Plans (LTAPs). The LTAPs direct and optimizes acquisitions of each active Landsat satellite.

Landsat scenes downlinked directly to the USGS EROS Ground Station typically become available for download within 24 hours after acquisition. Data downlinked to other ground stations may be delayed as are data acquired during processing system down times.

Special requests can be submitted to acquire data that is not collected according to the LTAP. Information on submitting special requests is provided below.

Landsat 8 Acquisitions (2013 to present)

Landsat 8 collects up to 740 scenes per day, directed by the Landsat 8 Long Term Acquisition Plan (LTAP-8). LTAP-8 utilizes parameters such as seasonality, land definition, historical cloud cover, gain settings, and sun angle to determine acquisitions. Nearly all land day-lit opportunities are scheduled for Landsat 8, and all acquired data will become visible on EarthExplorer or GloVis within 24 hours of acquisition.

Landsat 8 acquisitions planned today:

View Landsat 8 orbit maneuvers. (Maneuver definitions)

Landsat 7 Acquisitions (1999 to present)

Landsat 7 collects over 400 scenes per day, directed by the Landsat 7 Long Term Acquisition Plan (LTAP-7). LTAP-7 utilizes parameters such as seasonality, land definition, historical cloud cover, gain settings, and sun angle.

In November 2013, Landsat 7 shifted to a continental acquisition strategy in which data over Antarctica, oceanic islands, Greenland, and Row 9 and above are no longer acquired. (Landsat 8 acquires Row 9 and above approximately every 4 days, always acquires the island areas, and acquires Antarctica and Greenland at rates higher than before - see LTAP-8 for more details).

Landsat 7 acquisitions planned today:

View Landsat 7 orbit maneuvers. (Maneuver definitions)

Special Requests for Future Landsat Acquisitions

Special requests can be made for the acquisition of Landsat data that do not fall within the candidate images acquired by the logic defined in the Long Term Acquisition Plans (described above). Please review the areas covered by the LTAP-7 and LTAP-8 before submitting a special request.

For Landsat 8, special requests are only needed to acquire night, low sun elevation, ocean and ascending day-lit data, or for emergency response operations. All attempts will be made to accommodate emergency requests over other high priority activities. However most activities, such as maneuvers, causing rejected imaging are required and cannot be moved.

For Landsat 7, special requests can be used to increase the probability of acquiring scenes covered by the L7 continental strategy and are recommended when field measurements are planned. Special requests for night, ocean, islands, and other scenes excluded from the L7 continental strategy are only approved for emergency response.

Single Path/Row Request Form – Complete and submit this form if your area of interest falls in one path/row range.

Multiple Path/Row Request Form – Download, complete and send this form to if your area of interest encompasses more than one path/row range. You may also send a list of path/rows with your email in a .csv format (see example below). You will be contacted when your request is received, and it will be reviewed and elevated for final approval.

Example file for multiple paths/rows: .csv

Looking for lat/long to path/row converters, shapefiles, and other useful tools?

USGS Landsat Global Archive Consolidation

The USGS is partnering with the Landsat International Cooperator community to consolidate all Landsat holdings into one freely distributable and consistently processed Landsat Archive. This activity has more than doubled the number of images in the Landsat Global Archive. Visit the Landsat Global Archive Consolidation (LGAC) page for more information on the effort.

USGS Landsat Global Archive

View maps that show the number of scenes acquired by each satellite/sensor per year:

USGS Landsat Archive Collections per year, spacecraft, and sensor


Landsat represents the world's longest continuously acquired collection of space-based moderate-resolution land remote sensing data. Four decades of imagery provides a unique resource for those who work in agriculture, geology, forestry, regional planning, education, mapping, and global change research. Landsat images are also invaluable for emergency response and disaster relief.


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Landsat Updates

The Landsat Update is an informal communication tool, prepared periodically and distributed electronically to USGS Landsat partners, to provide information about Landsat activities and related topics of interest.

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Page Last Modified: 10/18/18 11:39 am