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The earth's population is growing out of control.
By the end of the millennium we
will number approximately 7 billion.
The need for food will double.
The need for mineral resources will triple.
Water consumption will increase four fold.
General demand for natural
resources is growing rapidly.
...therefore resources must be
used prudently and reasonably.
But, first of all, we must know and understand
our Planet. Do we?
Our knowledge is clearly insufficient. Comprehensive geographical
maps are unavailable for up to 40o/o of the Earth's surface.
Not to mention detailed geological maps
and those of the world's vegetation.
The world's fresh water resources
are not well documented.
Man cannot be reproached for
disinterest in his own planet. Contrary,...
...to such a suggestion, people have all always
been inquisitive and traveled far and wide.
Continually studying the earth, we perpetually roam about
it, though to put it more correctly, we are but crawling...
...upon it's surface, unable to do otherwise.
We gather data like crumbs
overcoming each kilometer arduously.
Charting, as well as studying
the geological composition...
... of the earth's crust, is taking
a monstrous amount of time.
Complex is the world, and incredibly large.
But big things are better seen from afar.
Perhaps, that is what induces Man's
eternal desire to rise as high as the skies.
To grasp it all from on high, at a glance.
The time had come. Man broke his terrestrial bounds and took flight.
From the air, we began discovering our planet
anew and many new opportunities emerged.
Ice prospecting, detecting forest fires...
...and mapping regions difficult to access. You name it!
But globally airplanes also crawl though above the planet's surface.
The field of vision is narrow. And Man wished
he could see whole countries from above.
This dream has also come true.
The space era has begun!
Do you remember Gagarin's happy voice saying:
''I see the Earth!''
A new meaning was put into these words:
''I see planet Earth!''
For thousands of years, clouds had
been a ceiling above our heads.
Airplanes broke through the ceiling
and viewed it from above.
And now, seen from a satellite, they
look like tiny lumps beneath our feet.
And the entire Earth can be seen.
Meteorologists were the first to employ
the advantage of space technologies.
It is the soviet satellite ''Meteor''.
Its TV lenses are facing the earth.
Each camera has a field of vision of approximately
five hundred by five hundred kilometers.
The image is magnetically taped by
the satellite. One after another.
When passing over a station receiving radio
signals, the images are transmitted to earth.
Here it is dubbed...
...and then photo printed.
Under the treaty with the UsA,...
... we can receive the images from their''EssA'' satellites.
...From many photos we glean a general picture
of the cloud cover over the entire continent.
Then the cloud picture is analyzed.
For instance, here's a cloud vortex
in the region of Iceland,...
...a so called occlusion front, a mass of clouds.
The cold front promises snowfalls
and the warm front brings rains.
On the basis of the information from satellites plus
the data obtained by terrestrial weather stations...
...synoptic maps are compiled.
such maps are used for weather forecasts,...
... which are immediately communicated
to all organizations concerned.
With the help of special fax machines maps
themselves are transmitted to various regions.
The system seemed to be good enough,
but Man wanted more.
It took too long and was inconvenient to compile
maps from pieces of information every day.
An instant general view
of the whole Planet was desired. .
In 1968, our satellite ''ZOND 5''
photographed Earth as a whole.
No assemble was required. Weather over the
entire hemisphere was immediately perceivable:
...no clouds over North Africa,
cumuli along the equator,...
... strati around the

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