When astronauts return from space, what they talk about isn’t the brute force of the rocket launch or the exhilaration of zero gravity. It’s the view. And it’s mankind’s rarest view of all, Earth from afar.
Only two dozen men – those who journeyed to the moon – have seen the full Earth view. Most space travellers, in low orbit, see only a piece of the planet – a lesser but still impressive glimpse. They have seen the curvature of Earth, its magnificent beauty, its fragility, and its lack of borders.
The first full view of Earth came from the moon-bound Apollo 8 during the waning days of a chaotic 1968. Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders put it in perspective in a documentary: “We came all this way to explore the moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth.”
For Earth Day this year – at a time when perhaps some perspective is needed – the Associated Press asked space travellers to recall what it’s like to see Earth from above: Continue reading “True Values. The Earth from the Space”