- The view from space of Earth is becoming marred by smoke
and dust as environmental destruction grows increasingly visible, the commander
of the International Space Station said.
- US astronaut Frank Culbertson told the BBC that the view
had changed markedly since his first space mission in 1990.
- "There is smoke and dust in wider spread areas than
we have seen before, particularly as areas like Africa dry up in certain
regions," he said.
- "I have seen changes in what comes out of some of
the rivers, in land usage. We see areas of the world that are being burned
to clear land, so we are losing lots of trees."
- Speaking from the space station, Mr Culbertson said the
changes were a cause for concern.
- "We have to be very careful how we treat this good
- He was also struck by the number of lights glowing on
the Earth at night.
- "It's quite amazing to see how many people actually
live down there and how much of an effect they are having on the environment
and the land we live on," said Mr Culbertson, who piloted space shuttle
missions in 1990 and 1993.
- He is the commander of the third crew to reside in the
international space station, a collaboration between American, European
and Japanese interests. The space shuttle Discovery launched on 10 August
to take Culbertson and two Russian cosmonauts to the station.
- The members of Expedition 3 will live on the station
for four months, conducting experiments and collecting data.