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USGS taking over satellite mission from NASA

News Mitchell,South Dakota 57301
The Daily Republic
USGS taking over satellite mission from NASA
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

SIOUX FALLS (AP) -- The U.S. Geological Survey EROS Center in Sioux Falls will officially take over the Landsat 8 satellite mission from NASA on Thursday.

The center north of Sioux Falls is collecting at least 400 Landsat 8 scenes per day from around the world. The images are archived and made available for free download by scientists or anyone else who's interested.

NASA launched Landsat 8 into space in February. Since then, teams have been running it through a barrage of tests before placing the satellite into orbit 438 miles above the planet's surface.

The new orbiter has several advantages over its still-functioning predecessor Landsat 7, which captures just 250 images a day.

Top officials from the two agencies will be at the EROS Center on Thursday for a transition ceremony.