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3 Comments | Vintage
I just watched October sky last night so I’m really digging this
I’d say Apollo 8 was the one that changed our view. That ‘Earthrise’ picture did an awful lot. https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap181224.html
"It’s a sultry night in July. You’ve fallen asleep in the armchair. Abruptly, you startle awake, disoriented. The television set is on, but not the sound. You strain to understand what you’re seeing. Two ghostly white figures in coveralls and helmets are softly dancing under a pitch- black sky. They make strange little skipping motions, which propel them upward amid barely perceptible clouds of dust. But something is wrong. They take too long to come down. Encumbered as they are, they seem to be flying—a little. You rub your eyes, but the dreamlike tableau persists.
Of all the events surrounding Apollo 11’s landing on the Moon on July 20, 1969, my most vivid recollection is its unreal quality. Yes, it was an astonishing technological achievement and a triumph for the United States. Yes, the astronauts—Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins, the last keeping solitary vigil in lunar orbit—displayed death-defying courage. Yes, as Armstrong said as he first alighted, this was a historic step for the human species. But if you turned off the byplay between Mission Control and the Sea of Tranquility, with its deliberately mundane and routine chatter, and stared into that black-and-white television monitor, you could glimpse that we humans had entered the realm of myth and legend…
Apollo conveyed a confidence, energy and breadth of vision that did capture the imagination of the world. That too was part of its purpose. It inspired an optimism about technology, an enthusiasm for the future. If we could go to the Moon, what else was now possible? Even those who were not admirers of the United States readily acknowledged that—whatever the underlying reason for the program—the nation had, with Apollo, achieved greatness.
When you pack your bags for a big trip, you never know what’s in store for you. The Apollo astronauts on their way to and from the Moon photographed their home planet. It was a natural thing to do, but it had consequences that few foresaw. For the first time, the inhabitants of Earth could see their world from above—the whole Earth, Earth in color, Earth as an exquisite spinning white and blue ball set against the vast darkness of space. Those images helped awaken our slumbering planetary consciousness. They provide incontestable evidence that we all share the same vulnerable planet. They remind us of what is important and what is not.
We may have found that perspective just in time, just as our technology threatens the habitability of our world. Whatever the reason we first mustered the Apollo program, however mired it was in Cold War nationalism and the instruments of death, the inescapable recognition of the unity and fragility of Earth is its clear and luminous dividend, the unexpected final gift of Apollo. "
Carl Sagan- The gift of Apollo