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Last Updated: Thursday August 04 2005 16:45 GMT

Astronaut warns of global damage

Discovery hovers above Earth

Astronauts on the shuttle Discovery have warned they can see a lot of environmental devastation from space.

The spaceship's position on the International Space Station gives the crew a birds-eye view of planet Earth, and they say it looks worrying.

Astronaut Eileen Collins said she could see lots of areas where trees have been cut down, and Earth's atmosphere looked as thin as an eggshell.

She added that in some areas the problem was very widespread.

"Sometimes you can see how there is erosion, and you can see how there is deforestation," Commander Collins said during a conversation from space with Japanese officials in Tokyo.

Talking about the atmosphere, she said "We know that we don't have much air - we need to protect what we have."

The astronaut said people should try and replace resources they use, and take better care of Earth.