The Federal Government has announced Australia is now an international collaborator with the United States satellite mission, under an agreement signed with the United States Geological Survey.


The Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP, welcomed the news that Geoscience Australia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding making Australia a partner in the operation of a new United States of America satellite, named Landsat 8. 


Landsat 8, the latest in the series of Landsat satellites, is expected to launch in January 2013. It will continue almost forty years of operation of the Landsat series of land observing satellites, part of the Landsat Data Continuity Mission, which is the longest continuous record of the Earth’s surface as seen from space.


“This agreement is vital to ensuring the nation’s future satellite imagery requirements are met, and confirms Australia’s commitment to working with the United States to deliver civilian uses of space,” Minister Ferguson said.


“When launched, the satellite will provide Australia with immediate and direct access to the highest quality satellite data, replacing its current reliance on the ageing Landsat 5 and 7 satellites.”