Race to space, conquest of the cosmos, the last frontier.
These were the buzzwords of the US and Soviet space programmes of the late 1950s and 1960s. However, the real achievement of space travel is looking back at earth.
Today, satellites orbit our home planet unceasingly, collecting and transmitting data: recordings of continents and oceans and measured values of temperatures, atmospheric pressure or the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In as early as 1839, the English art critic and polymath John Ruskin had called for the development of a global weather observation system. Since the launch of the first weather satellite, TIROS-1, in 1960, this vision of a "vast machine", as Ruskin put it, has become a reality. The comparison of data from the measurement series of past decades with those of the present day has contributed significantly to the understanding of the dynamics of global warming. In geography, this has developed into its own branch of research, remote sensing. Using high-resolution satellite images, the global change in the use of space is observed and analysed. Since the end of the 1980s, the European Space Agency (ESA) has also been running a European satellite-based weather observation programme., die ).
The weather satellite TerraSAR-x, which can be seen in the picture of hidden objects, was produced in Germany and launched into space in 2007 from the Kazakh spaceport of Baikonur under the direction of the German Aerospace Authority (Deutsches Luft- und Raumfahrtbehörde; DLR).
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