From the archive

How Nature reported a satellite TV system in India in 1969, and an explorer who learnt survival techniques from indigenous Arctic groups in 1919.

50 Years Ago

It was recently announced that the United States will cooperate with India in setting up a satellite system for bringing educational TV into 5,000 Indian villages … Under the agreement with India, the sixth of NASA’s series of Applications Technology Satellites will receive TV programmes transmitted from a ground station at Ahmedabad and relay them to small village receivers. The programmes will be under Indian control and are expected to be directed at family planning, education in agriculture and to make a much-needed contribution to Indian unity. Direct broadcasting to village receivers is made possible by an increase in the power which can be provided on Geostationary satellites, and by a highly directional aerial, which in turn means that the receivers on the ground can be modest and inexpensive.

From Nature 11 October 1969

100 Years Ago

Mr. V. Stefansson describes his successful method of Arctic exploration in an interesting article entitled “Living Off the Country” in the May issue of the Geographical Review … Mr. Stefansson’s well-known adoption of [local] habits and diet have enabled him to travel … far into the unknown for long periods without any anxiety. He contends that from experience he has found that a diet of flesh or fish is quite sufficient to sustain a person in good physical and mental condition, and that salt is not necessary for health … So convinced is Mr. Stefansson of the abundance of food in the Arctic lands and seas he knows that he asserts that any man conversant with the ways of wild animals and the hunting and living methods of the [local people] can load on one dog-team all the equipment he needs for a journey of several years.

From Nature 9 October 1919

Nature 574, 185 (2019)

doi: 10.1038/d41586-019-02976-9

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