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Australia looks to satellites for exploration

The Federal Government has confirmed it will join Landsat Next, a program using satellites to map and observe the changing surface of the Earth.

Led by NASA and the US Geological Survey, the program aims to support mining exploration, monitor of the Earth’s climate, water and environment, crop and agricultural health, and manage of floods, fires and natural disasters.

Landsat Next is anchored in Alice Springs and continues nearly 50 years of a close earth observations partnership between Geoscience Australia and the United States Geological Survey.

“Landsat data is vital for industries such as mining and agriculture and is an essential tool in managing natural disasters,” Federal Minister for Resources Madeleine King said.

“The Landsat Next satellites will mean we can monitor Australia’s lands and coasts from space. It is the biggest and best selfie we could take of our great country.”

Australia is set to commit $207.4 million over four years as well as ongoing funding to the project to enhance satellite ground station facilities in Alice Springs and new advanced data processing and analytics capabilities.

“Landsat data supported emergency services in Queensland in January to help mitigate potential flooding in Queensland ahead of Cyclone Kirrily,” King said.

“I am delighted that we will continue this partnership with the US for decades to come.”

The Landsat Next program is planned for launch in 2030.

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