In 1912, the "Titanic" hit an iceberg and sank. Since this time, monitoring ice has been regarded as very important - and extremely difficult. This video describes the ice-monitoring capabilities of ERS-1, launched in 1993, following the voyage of "L'Astrolabe" through the North-East Passage across the top of Russia. This monitoring is to safeguard shipping and help to keep open shipping routes. The programme also looks at environmental research in the polar worlds. It includes videos of ice shelves breaking off, wildlife in polar regions (polar bears and penguins) as well as animations of the launch and orbit of ERS-1 and its scientific mission.