The Landsat Data Continuity Mission, or LDCM, launched Feb. 11, 2013, aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401. The launch took place on its first attempt from Vandenberg Air Force Base, calif. The LDCM, which will be renamed Landsat 8, is the eighth satellite in the Landsat series, which began in 1972. The mission will extend more than 40 years of global land observations that are critical in many areas, such as energy and water management, forest monitoring, human and environmental health, urban planning, disaster recovery and agriculture. NASA and the USGS jointly manage the Landsat Program.