Today’s Top Space Headline –“GASP” Six NASA Astronauts Recall the Moment in Space When Everything Changed”



"I imagined that on the other side of this hatch is an atmosphere and environment that doesn’t support my life form. But I couldn’t make myself nervous. And I tried to imagine myself being on another star system 10,000 light-years away, and I felt fine."

"I took the gestalt of it and said, “Wow, that’s the Universe.” And then, on the reverse side, I said, “Wow, that’s Planet Earth, and there’s civilization.” You kind of go back in time with civilization." Jerry Linenger NASA


There’s no squinting in space. Things appear small, sure: From your vantage point, 254 miles above Earth, even the colossal Kapok trees of the Amazon are reduced to a verdant swirl in a cat-eye marble. But in space, as six NASA astronauts told Inverse, what you see isn’t necessarily what you envision. Up there, where perspective is immeasurably wide, it’s impossible to miss the forest for the trees.

The astronauts — Chris Hadfield, Jerry Linenger, Nicole Stott, Mae Jemison, Leland Melvin, and Mike Massimino — have all had the rare opportunity to view our home planet from space. In doing so, all of them went through a change, not only in how they saw the planet but in their relationship to it. Some refer to that change as the “Overview Effect,” a term coined in 1987 by celebrated space writer Frank White to describe the mental shift astronauts experience when they consider the Earth as part of a larger whole.



The new National Geographic series One Strange Rock, executive produced by Darren Aronofsky and Jane Root of Nutopia, aims to recreate the Overview Effect for everybody else, by recreating, as best it can, the views that prompted those shifts.

In a series of one-on-one conversations with the astronauts, Inverse asked what exactly each of them saw the moment that everything changed.

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