PART II: YEAR 2001
EARTH FROM 200 MILES UP: By the year 2001, overpopulation has replaced the problem of starvation but this was ominously offset by the absolute and utter perfection of the weapon.
Hundreds of giant bombs had been placed in perpetual orbit above the Earth. They were capable of incinerating the entire Earth's surface from an altitude of 100 miles.
Matters were further complicated by the presence of twenty-seven nations in the nuclear club. There had been no deliberate or accidental use of nuclear weapons since World War II and some people felt secure in this knowledge.
But to others, the situation seemed comparible to an airline with a perfect safety record; it showed admirable care and skill but no one expected it to last forever.
SPACE STATION-5: The raw sunlight of Space dazzles from the polished metal surfaces of the slowly revolving, thousand-foot diameter space station.
ORION-III SPACECRAFT: In flight away from Earth, 200 miles altitude.
ORION-III PASSENGER AREA: Dr. Heywood Floyd is the only passenger in the elegant cabin designed for 30 people. He is asleep. His pen floats near his hand.
A stewardess enters the passenger area, she sees the pen and approaches slowly.
The stewardess rescues the pen and clips it back in Floyd's pocket.
PICTORIAL: THE DOCKING OF ORION-III