The radiometric accuracy of space-borne instruments such as radiometers and spectroradiometers which make measurements of the earth and other celestial objects can be compromised by the linear polarization sensitivity (LPS) induced by the optical system. Most of these optical systems contain optical elements whose reflectance or transmission is polarization dependent, such as diffraction gratings, folding and scanning mirrors, dichroic filters, and optical fibers. Optical systems incorporating such elements generally display linear polarization sensitivity; different linear polarization states incident with equal radiometric power are measured as different power levels. If the incident polarization state is unknown, the linear polarization sensitivity cannot be compensated during the data reduction. The light reflected from the earth and other planets and moons is usually partially linearly polarized, but in a random distribution. Thus, to make accurate radiometric measurements of these bodies, a radiometer or spectrometer should have a low level of linear polarization sensitivity. This paper contains a mathematical description of LPS, contains references to systems which have imposed an LPS specification, describes some of the sources of LPS, describes how to model LPS by polarization ray tracing, and discusses methods to reduce the LPS of an optical system.