Views of Earth From Space
"Instead of an intellectual search, there was suddenly a very deep gut feeling that something was different. It occurred when looking at Earth and seeing this blue-and-white planet floating there, and knowing that it was orbiting the Sun, seeing that Sun, and seeing in in the background of the very deep and velvety cosmos, seeing - rather -, knowing for sure - that there was a purposefulness of the flow, of energy, of time, of space and the cosmos - that it was beyond man's rational ability to understand, that suddenly there was a non-rational way of understanding that had been beyond my previous experience.
There seems to be more to the universe than random, chaotic, purposeless movement of a collection of molecular particles.
On the return trip home, gazing through 240,000 miles of space towards the stars and the planet from which I had come, I suddenly experienced the universe as intelligent, loving, and harmonious."
Dr. Edgar Mitchell
Apollo 14 Astronaut
"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"
Astronaut - German Democratic Republic
"For those who have seen the Earth from space, and for the hundreds and perhaps thousands more who will, the experience certainly changes your perspective. The things we share in our world are far more valuable than the things that separate us."
From space I saw Earth - indescribably beautiful with the scars of national boundaries gone.
Muhammad Ahmad Faris
It isn't important in which sea or lake you observe a slick of pollution, or in the forests of which country a fire breaks out, or in which continent a hurricane arises. You are standing guard over the whole of our Earth.
"That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you have ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there - on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."
Dr. Carl Sagan
The Pale Blue Dot