Target: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Goal: Commend the launching of the latest satellite in the Landsat series that will provide data and images to aid in the monitoring of forest degradation and emission rates
As part of the Landsat Data Continuity Mission, a collaborative program between the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA, the Landsat 8 earth-imaging satellite has been launched into space. The satellite will gather data and imagery to aid in global land observations and monitor deforestation rates. Applaud NASA for the launching of the Landsat 8 satellite in efforts to conserve the world’s most threatened tropical forests.
Landsat 8 was launched in early February 2013 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, California. The satellite is expected to orbit the Earth at an altitude of 438 miles, 14 times a day. Every 16 days, the satellite will return to its original starting point above the Earth to repeat the cycle.
Bruce Cabarle, leader of World Wildlife Fund’s global Forest and Climate Initiative, stated how the launch of Landsat 8 is an important tool in the global effort to conserve the earth’s most fragile forest ecosystems. The World Wildlife Fund’s global Forest and Climate Initiative will be able to use the satellite’s imagery to observe tropical forests in order to determine the areas of deforestation. Landsat 8 will be the most attentive to the tropical forests that are currently under threat, including forests in the Congo Basin, the Amazon and Indonesia.
The imagery provided by Landsat 8 will be in near real-time and will build on data captured from previous satellites belonging to the Landsat satellite program. As the world’s only earth-imaging system that freely provides data and images, the new images captured will be no different. This will enable scientists and conservations worldwide with the opportunity to observe the surface of the earth and its fluxuations with time. Commend NASA for launching Landsat 8 that provides conservationists and researchers with a critical tool for monitoring Earth’s threatened tropical forests.
Forests play a major role in maintaining the balance of carbon in the atmosphere. But with higher demands for natural resources, forest degradation rates are rapidly increasing. Ensuring that climate change and global warming be kept under strict scrutiny, the latest satellite in the Landsat series is up for the challenge.
By launching Landsat 8, you are providing scientists and conservations worldwide with capabilities of monitoring the world’s most fragile tropical forests in near real-time. This is an important step in tackling forest degradation and reducing emissions from deforestation. Therefore, I applaud the launching of Landsat 8 and support your future contributions in all aspects of conservation.
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