Down To Earth – It’s Alive

Down To Earth – It’s Alive


[ Music ]>>I had looked at pictures
on social media and pictures in NASA archives of the earth so
many times, I actually started to get worried, what
if I get up there and it’s just like the pictures? I mean, oh, that’s going to
be weird if that’s the thing where I’m like oh, looks
just like the pictures, I’m ready to go home now. And then on the Soyuz,
my launch vehicle, launched with the Russians. And on my Soyuz, when I
first got a chance to look out my little window, which was
about right here, at the earth, there’s something about
looking out a round window at the curvature of the earth that makes it just
more pronounced and — and really makes it
have a huge impact. [ Music ] I just had this feeling like
I was way up high looking down and we were over the ocean and
the blues that I saw, it was — I mean it was ridiculous. I — I’d never imagined
in my entire life getting to see something that beautiful. It was so foreign for the
human mind to look at that, to see the total black of space, to see the earth
highlighted that way. And then I got to see a sunset. I had one piece of paper, it
had a picture of my kids on it and a few of my flight data file
burn times on it, but I wrote — I just took a pencil I
drew like 15 curved lines and I just wrote, light blue,
darker blue, pink, purple, dark purple, dark, dark purple,
all the way down to the surface of the earth at sunset
because the scale of looking at a sun refracting through
the atmosphere, it blew me away and no picture capturing it. There’s no high enough
dynamic range of a photo to capture what the
human can see. So, that first look outside
completely sidelined me. I had a GoPro and I made
a recording to my brother of no matter how much it costs
in the future, come do this, you have to come do this,
I mean it’s amazing. [ Music ] Over my 6 months in
space, getting to look at the earth every single day, it shows you something
different. Every day, it shows
you that it’s alive, it’s a being just like we are. We’re guests on this planet
and it is — it’s our mother, it’s our father, it’s our
starship cruising around the sun in the middle of
the solar system. There was never a moment
that I looked out the window and didn’t immediately grab
a camera to take a picture of something that
our planet was doing, it always surprises,
[inaudible]. [ Music ] I’m a pilot, I’m
not a scientist, I’m not a psychiatrist, I’m
not a poet, but certainly, when you’re in low-earth orbit
looking down at the earth, it doesn’t matter if you’re
a physicist, a schoolteacher, a stay-at-home parent, or
maybe you just backpack for your whole life, if
you look out, you’re going to have a magical experience
in your own way for certain. [ Music ]

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