Orbiting Earth In The Spaceship

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“Orbiting Earth in the spaceship, I saw how beautiful our planet is. People, let us preserve and increase this beauty, not destroy it.” – Yuri Gagarin (first person in space)

Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin (1934 – 1968) was a Russian Soviet pilot and cosmonaut who became the first human to travel into outer space. In 1961, he boarded the Vostok spacecraft and made a 108-minute orbital flight on planet Earth. He was awarded “Hero of the Soviet Union” and “Pilot Cosmonaut of the Soviet Union.”

Gagarin became the first man to see Earth from space on April 12, 1961. However, a documentary footage of his journey in outer space was not the priority of his mission. He only brought black sparse imagery of the Earth from the outer space. Technology that time was also incapable of capturing Earth’s beauty. For one thing, one has to snap at speeds of almost 5 miles per second to get a proper photo of the Earth in the outer space. Nonetheless, his first words in space are enough to describe what he saw: “I see Earth. It is so beautiful!”

Like Gagarin, the fortunate people who followed his footsteps also had an overwhelming emotion dubbed “the overview effect”. Research showed that after seeing Earth from the outer space, astronauts gained a profound psychological effect of interdependence. Frank White, the man who coined the term “overview effect” describes it as “a message to us human beings about who we are, where we are, and where we’re going.”

Seeing the Earth from outer space is said to be life-changing. To quote Alan Shepard of Apollo 14: “When I first looked back at the Earth, standing on the Moon, I cried.”

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