Landsat 8, which is about the size of a compact SUV with a 30-foot-long deployable sheet of solar panels, is being built with a 5-year design lifespan but will be stocked with at least a 10-year supply of fuel.
NASA is in charge of building and launching the satellite before turning over operation to the USGS, though NASA also uses Landsat data for science.
Long-term plans call for another orbiter to be launched before the end of Landsat 8's run.
"Hopefully we'll be able to continue with the next mission after that that will extend it even further," Sabers said.
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