Friday, November 30, 2012

Quotes from astronauts on seeing the Blue Marble

These quotes were given in the EOS issue of Dec. 4, 2012, published by the American Geophysical Union:

Astronaut Russell Scheickhart, in describing his experience from space on the Apollo 9 mission said, “When you go around the Earth in an hour and half, you begin to recognize that your identity is with the whole thing. And that makes a change. You look down there and you can’t imagine how many borders and boundaries you cross, again and again and again, and you don’t even see them. And from where you see it, the thing is a whole, the Earth is a whole, and it’s so beautiful. You wish you could take a person in each hand, one from each side in the various conflicts, and say, Look. Look at it from this perspective. Look at that. What’s important?’”
Apollo 17 astronaut Eugene Cernan has reflected about his experience on that flight: “You have to literally just pinch yourself and ask yourself the question, silently: Do you know where you are at this point in time and space, and in reality and in existence, when you can look out the window and you’re looking at the most beautiful star in the heavens—the most beautiful because it’s the one we understand and we know, it’s home, it’s people, family, love, life—and besides that it is beautiful. You can see from pole to pole and across oceans and continents and you can watch it turn and there’s no strings holding it up, and it’s moving in a blackness that is almost beyond conception.”
See this post on my own impression of the "Blue Marble" picture shown above.