Astronauts Describe Seeing Earth From Space
Astronauts have a unique perspective of our home planet that very few people get to experience. Hear from explorers who have had the opportunity to see Earth from above and how it changed their perspective of life on our planet.

Down to Earth: The Astronaut’s Perspective
NASA’s astronauts take you on a journey to the International Space Station, exploring the life-changing experience of an orbital perspective. View Earth as you’ve never seen it before: through the eyes of an astronaut.

The World Below: Time-Lapse by Bruce W. Berry Jr.

BELLA GAIA – (Beautiful Earth) A Poetic Vision of Earth from Space. BELLA GAIA is an unprecedented NASA-powered immersive experience, inspired by astronauts who spoke of the life-changing power of seeing the Earth from space. Illuminating the beauty of the planet both natural and cultural (BELLA) and the interconnectedness of all things on Earth (GAIA), this live concert blends music, dance, technology, and NASA satellite imagery to turn the stage planetary.

What Happens when you see the Earth from Space – The Biscuit Factory

Stunning Views of Earth From Space – New York Times


‘Overview’ is a short film that explores the cognitive change of consciousness reported by five astronauts who experienced the phenomena known as the Overview Effect during spaceflight. The film features insights from commentators and thinkers on the wider implications and importance of this understanding for society, and our relationship to the environment.

First described by author Frank White in 1987, the Overview Effect is an experience that transforms astronauts’ perspective of the planet and mankind’s place upon it. Common features of the experience are a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.

Frank White noted that, “There are no borders or boundaries on our planet except those that we create in our minds or through human behaviors. All the ideas and concepts that divide us when we are on the surface begin to fade from orbit and the moon. The result is a shift in worldview, and in identity.”

Watch OVERVIEW on Films for the Planet
Produced by Guy Reid, Steve Kennedy, Christopher Ferstad
Original Score: Human Suites
More information:
The Overview Institute 
Fragile Oasis
Planetary Collective
Overview Microsite




Neil Armstrong, astronaut & moonwalker

“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.”

Shuttle/ISS astronaut Ron Garan

“When we look down at the earth from space, we see this amazing, indescribably beautiful planet. It looks like a living, breathing organism. But it also, at the same time, looks extremely fragile … Anybody else who’s ever gone to space says the same thing because it really is striking and it’s really sobering to see this paper-thin layer and to realize that that little paper-thin layer is all that protects every living thing on Earth from death, basically. From the harshness of space.”

William Shatner passenger Blue Origin Space Shuttle

It was among the strongest feelings of grief I have ever encountered. The contrast between the vicious coldness of space and the warm nurturing of Earth below filled me with overwhelming sadness. Every day, we are confronted with the knowledge of further destruction of Earth at our hands: the extinction of animal species, of flora and fauna . . . things that took five billion years to evolve, and suddenly we will never see them again because of the interference of mankind. It filled me with dread.

Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 astronaut

“You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out ther e on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.’”

Edward Gibson, astronaut & Skylab 4 pilot

“You see how diminutive your life and concerns are compared to other things in the universe … The result is that you enjoy the life that is before you … It allows you to have inner peace.”

Shuttle/ISS astronaut Ron Garan

“It’s constantly changing, the colours, the shadows, the terrain, everything is changing and all this motion, colours and light really gives you the sense that we live on a living, breathing organism…When you’re up there for months at a time you can actually see the ice breaking up in the harbour, you can see this line that represents the changing leaf colours slowly march from south to north, to north to south, And those long term seasonal changes, when you put them together with the routine day to day changes, again give you this impression that we all live on a living, breathing organism, this living thing that we call Earth, a living biosphere”

William Shatner passenger Blue Origin Space Shuttle

“…it can prompt an instant reevaluation of our shared harmony and a shift in focus to all the wonderful things we have in common instead of what makes us different. It reinforced tenfold my own view on the power of our beautiful, mysterious collective human entanglement, and eventually, it returned a feeling of hope to my heart. In this insignificance we share, we have one gift that other species perhaps do not: we are aware — not only of our insignificance, but the grandeur around us that makes us insignificant. That allows us perhaps a chance to rededicate ourselves to our planet, to each other, to life and love all around us. If we seize that chance.”

Ronald Garan

“The experience is incredible, you have all this motion and colours and light that really gives you the sense that we live on a living, breathing organism and the experience is undeniable yet surreal, it remains very much part of who I am today”

Don L. Lind, astonaut and STS-51-B mission specialist

“Intellectually, I knew what to expect. I have probably looked at as many pictures from space as anybody … so I knew exactly what I was going to see … But there is no way you can be prepared for the emotional impact … It brought tears to my eyes.”

Joseph Allen

“I’ve known every cosmonaut and every astronaut…without exception, every one of them cannot get over the beauty of seeing planet Earth. It just takes your breath away and [pause] you just cannot take your eyes off the Earth. It just is so beautiful”

Gerald Carr

“It gives me comfort to know Earth is our home, how it takes care of us and I recognize that, and I’ve spent a lot of time over the years talking to people and trying to get them to understand how important it is that we take an attitude toward our Earth as a more reverent attitude and do more to take care of it”

Anousheh Ansari - Space Tourist

“The actual experience exceeds all expectations and is something that’s hard to put to words… It sort of reduces things to a size that you think everything is manageable…. All these things that may seem big and impossible … We can do this. Peace on Earth – No problem. It gives people that type of energy … that type of power, and I have experienced that.”

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