Highlights of the Landsat Data Continuity Mission observations collected on April 19, 2013. The six selections in this video all come from the same continuous data collection as the satellite passed over Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The selections in this video feature the Volga River in Russia, the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in Iraq, the cities of Medina and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Mt. Elgon and Lake Victoria in Uganda and Kenya, and the Great Dyke of Zimbabwe.
LDCM orbits at 16,800 mph (27,000 kph), taking slightly more than 20 minutes to cover the full span of Russia to Africa . The animation moves faster, covering 5,665 miles (9,117 kilometers) in nearly 16 minutes.
A joint U.S. Geological Survey and NASA mission, LDCM launched on Feb. 11, 2013, and is still in its onboard calibration and checkout phase. The images shown here are considered test data. Once LDCM completes its check-out phase in late May, the satellite will be handed over to the USGS and renamed Landsat 8. After this point, the satellite will be considered operational and data will be available from USGS at no cost over the Internet.