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Landsat Remote Sensing Strategy

NSPD-5, February 13, 1992

I. Policy Goals

A remote sensing capability such as is currently being provided by Landsat satellites 4 and 5 benefits the civil and national security interests of the United States and makes contributions to the private sector which are in the public interest. For these reasons, the United States government will seek to maintain continuity of Landsattype data. The U.S. government will:

(a) Provide data which are sufficiently consistent in terms of acquisition geometry, coverage characteristics, and spectral characteristics with previous Landsat data to allow comparisons for change detection and characterization;

(b) Make Landsat data available to meet the needs of national security, global change research, and other federal

users; and,

(c) Promote and not preclude private sector commercial opportunities in Landsattype remote sensing.

II. Landsat Strategy

a. The Landsat strategy is composed of the following elements:

(1) Ensuring that Landsat satellites 4 and 5 continue to provide data as long as they are technically capable of doing so, or until Landsat 6 becomes operational.

(2) Acquiring a Landsat 7 satellite with the goal of maintaining continuity of Landsattype data beyond the projected Landsat 6 endoflife.

(3) Fostering the development of advanced remote sensing technologies, with the goal of reducing the cost and increasing the performance of future Landsattype satellites to meet U.S. government needs, and potentially, enabling substantially greater opportunities for commercialization.

(4) Seeking to minimize the cost of Landsattype data for U.S. government agencies and to provide data for use in global change research in a manner consistent with the Administration's Data Management for Global Change Research Policy Statements.

(5) Limiting U.S. government regulations affecting private sector remote sensing activities to only those required in the interest of national security, foreign policy, and public safety.

(6) Maintaining an archive, within the United States, of existing and future Landsattype data.

(7) Considering alternatives for maintaining continuity of data beyond Landsat 7.

b. These strategy elements will be implemented within the overall resource and policy guidance provided by the President.

III. Implementing Guidelines

a. The Department of Commerce will:

(l) Complete and launch Landsat 6.

(2) In coordination with OMB, arrange for the continued operation of Landsat satellites 4 and 5 until Landsat 6 becomes operational.

b. The Department of Defense and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration will:

(1) Develop and launch a Landsat 7 satellite of at least equivalent performance to replace Landsat 6 and define alternatives for maintaining data continuity beyond Landsat 7.

(2) Prepare a plan by March l, 1992, which addresses management and funding responsibilities, operations, data archiving and dissemination, and commercial considerations associated with the Landsat program. This plan will be coordinated with other U.S. government agencies, as appropriate, and reviewed by the National Space Council.

(3) With the support of the Department of Energy and other appropriate agencies, prepare a coordinated technology plan that has as its goals improving the performance and reducing the cost for future Landsattype remote sensing systems.

c. The Department of the Interior will continue to maintain a national archive of Landsattype remote sensing data.

d. Affected agencies will identify funds, within their approved fiscal year 1993 budget, necessary to implement this


IV. Reporting Requirements

U.S. government agencies affected by these strategy guidelines are directed to report by March 15, 1992, to the National Space Council on the implementation of this strategy.

/s/ George Bush

For more information contact, Sylvia K. Kraemer, Office of Policy & Plans, Code Z, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546,

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