In the resolution, ASPRS cautions the U.S. Government to not try to commercialize the Landsat program, since moderate-resolution, multispectral remote sensing satellite systems have not proven to be commercially viable. To date, the U.S. Government has rejected the only bid it received for the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) in a competition designed to commercialize the Landsat Program. In addition, ASPRS urges the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the U.S. Department of the Interior to join with the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Agriculture and other government agencies to build and launch a government owned-operated Landsat within the next 24 to 36 months.
Finally, in the spirit of the recent Earth Observation Summit in July 2003, ASPRS requests that the U.S. Government pursue international cooperation as a long-term approach for supporting, managing and sustaining moderate-resolution, multispectral land observation systems. "The U.S. Government must plan for constant data continuity and immediate replacement of the Landsat 7 spacecraft," said ASPRS President Donald T. Lauer. "In the long-run, however, the most efficient, sustainable and cost-effective way to ensure the continuous flow of Landsat or Landsat-like data is for the U.S. Government to pursue international cost-sharing partners, starting with the European Space Agency, who have the same or very similar program objectives," he emphasized.
This resolution has been sent to President George W. Bush; the Cabinet; Senate and House Leadership; Members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation; Geospatial Industry Executives; Members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior; and others.
Source: SpatialNews, Dec. 3, 2003