Did NASA Calibrate Satellite Cameras Using Farmer's Name Written in Field?

3 min read
fairly difficult
The landmark is rumored to be the "world's largest signature."
In the l990s, a Texas farmer named Jimmie Luecke cleared several miles of brush on his land to spell out his last name in letters so large that they are visible in satellite photos. And because the word was carved so meticulously, NASA scientists have used the large linear letters to calibrate satellite cameras board space shuttles.

Iterations of the space-observable "Leucke" signature have made the rounds on the internet for nearly two decades. This claim is true but because the occurrence was first reported in 2002, we rate this claim as "Outdated."

In a NASA blog post written in 2011, Robert Simmon, a data visualizer and information designer, described his surprise at finding the "kilometers-tall" letters that spelled out "Luecke" near Austin, Texas. Simmon noted that although the letters could have "just been a curiosity for passing pilots and astronauts," scientists at the Johnson Space Center used the letters to estimate the maximum resolution of cameras aboard the Space Shuttle. The aerial…
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