Discovery is currently linked with the International Space Station, orbiting 352km (220 miles) above the Earth.
Commander Eileen Collins described on Thursday how widespread environmental destruction on Earth could be seen from the shuttle.
"Sometimes you can see how there is erosion, and you can see how there is deforestation," Commander Collins said.
"It's very widespread in some parts of the world. We would like to see, from the astronauts' point of view, people take good care of the Earth and replace the resources that have been used."
In her conversation from space with Japanese officials in Tokyo, including Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, she said her view from space emphasised how Earth's atmosphere must be protected too.
"The atmosphere almost looks like an eggshell on an egg, it's so very thin," she said. "We know that we don't have much air - we need to protect what we have."
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