3501-4000 Annex] Our Home -
Planet Earth As Seen From Outer Space
Saturday 3 September 2016, Editor: Easy
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Our Home: Planet Earth as seen from Outer Space
Reflections of astronauts who had the privilege to look down on Earth from heaven. See also Idea 4258.
My view of our planet was a glimpse of divinity. Edgar Mitchell, USA. Now I know why I'm here, not for a closer look at the Moon, but to look back at our home The Earth. Alfred Worden, USA. The Earth reminded us of a Christmas tree ornament hanging in the blackness of space. As we got farther and farther away it diminished in size. Finally it shrank to the size of a marble, the most beautiful marble you can imagine. That beautiful, warm, living object looked so fragile, so delicate, that if you touched it with a finger it would crumble and fall apart.
Seeing this has to change a person, has to make them appreciate the creation of God and the love of God. James Irwin, USA. When you look out the other way toward the stars you realize it's an awful long way to the next watering hole. Loren Acton, USA.
If everyone could see the Earth from the moon, as we saw it, all the problems before the UN would be solved. Alan Shepard, USA.
The artistic genius who painted our planet worked from a fantastic assortment of His palette and with unusually pure colors. We flew across the Crimea. It was autumn and corn was ripening in the Cuban area, the delicate yellows of the grain iridescent in a hundred shades. Fifteen minutes later we saw the soft green of the forest in the Taiga, then the dark brown of the Himalayas, and once again the long stretch across the lovely sapphire ocean. Anyone who has been in space knows that the impatiently awaited unearthliness quickly loses its charm. It is not the boring uniform blackness of the cosmic abyss that engages your attention, but the spectacle of our small planet haloed in blue.
Suddenly, you get a feeling you never had before, that you are an inhabitant of Earth. Those who have been in space realized that, in spite of the complete disparity between them, they are one in an important way, namely, an acute feeling of being an inhabitant of Earth, a feeling of a personal responsibility to preserve the only planet we have. They realize that any predicament, disagreement, or obstacle can be overcome. Oleg Makarov, USSR.
The Earth was small, light blue, and so touchingly alone, our home must be defended like a holy relic. Aleksei Leonov, USSR. The Earth at night looks even more magical than it does during the day. There is always a storm happening somewhere. Flashes of lightening sometimes cover up to a fourth of a continent. At first you see this as a natural disturbance, the eruption of splashes as a majestic spectacle. ...All of a sudden, against your will, you imagine that the lightening comes not from a natural storm, but from the explosions of bombs. No. This must never occur. Let only the northern lights and lightening blaze above our precious Earth. Valdimir Shatalov, USSR.
During a space flight the psyche of each astronaut is reshaped. Having seen the sun, the stars, and our planet, you become more full of life, softer. You begin to look at all living things with the people around you. At any rate that is what happened to me. Boris Volynov, USSR.
For the first time in my life I saw the horizon as a curved line. It was accentuated by a thin seam of dark blue light — our atmosphere. Obviously this was not the ocean of air I had been told it was so many times in my life. I was terrified by its fragile appearance. Ulf Merbold Federal Republic of Germany.
Before I flew I was already aware of how small and vulnerable our planet is; but only when I saw it from space, in all its ineffable beauty and fragility, did I realize that humankind's most urgent task is to cherish and preserve it for future generations. Sigmund Jahn German Democratic Republic.
The first day or so we all pointed to our countries. The third or fourth day we were pointing to our continents. By the fifth day we were aware of only one Earth. Sultan Bin Salman al-Saud Saudi Arabia.
From space I saw the Earth — indescribably beautiful with the scars of national boundaries gone. Muhammad Ahmand Faris, Syria.
I have been in love with the sky since birth. And when I could fly, I wanted to go higher, to enter space and become a 'man of the heights'. During the eight days I spent in space, I realized that humankind needs height primarily to better know our long-suffering Earth, to see what cannot be seen close up. Not just to love her beauty, but also to ensure that we do not bring even the slightest harm to the natural world. Pham Tuan, Vietnam.
The tears come to my eyes each time I read these moving statements. They should be known and inspire every school, every government, all institutions, all media, all corporations of the Earth.
All heads of states and of major institutions and corporations should fly to outer space and look down to Earth. The whole future of the world would depend on it.
~ Robert Muller
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