William Shatner, 90, a former Star Track actor, was the first to say, ‘Everyone in the world should do this,’ when he exited the Blue Origin rocket on October 13, 2021, after barely four minutes in space. Everyone in the world should see this.’ He said, ‘This air that is keeping us alive is thinner than your skin. We think, ‘Oh, it’s the blue sky’, and then all of a sudden you’re out of it, like you’re taking off a sheet while you’re sleeping. You are looking into the blackness, it is very thin and you come out of it in an instant.’
As observed by astronauts like Shatner, our planet’s atmosphere appears to be as thin as the skin of an apple relative to Earth. Although it may seem limitless from our point of view, we can change its composition with emissions as easily as we can pollute vast lakes and oceans. Yet many news reports covering Shatner’s visit ignored his comments on the fragility of Earth’s atmosphere.
Blue Origin’s space mission subjected to criticism
Such comments could affect the delegates attending COP26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held in Glasgow. Shatner’s journey was made possible by Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin. The company was established in the year 2000 and its move has been the subject of much criticism. Bezos, the billionaire founder of e-commerce giant Amazon, achieved his astronomical success by hollowing out the cultural and commercial infrastructure of local regions around the world.
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First picture of Earth obtained from the first ‘race’ of space
They have been condemned to spend billions on expanding the space tourism industry instead of improving the environment on Earth. The manned space program of the 1960s and 1970s, which was run as a ‘race’ by the US and Russia, was also criticized as a waste of money. But it brought a big and unexpected bonus and that was the first picture of Earth from space.
Amazing picture of earth from a million miles
On Christmas 1968, the crew of Apollo 8 became the first people to see and photograph the entire planet while flying around the Moon. From a quarter of a million miles away, no one had ever seen such a unique beauty of the earth. During the trip, astronaut Bill Anders took an undated photo of Earth in partial shadow, with the Moon in the foreground. The dim hue of the Moon was in stark contrast to the bright hue of Earth. The photo, colloquially known as ‘Earthrise’, was later described by photographer Galen Rowell as ‘the most impressive environmental photograph ever made’.
Earth’s most popular photo completes 50 years
In December 1972, the last Apollo mission (Apollo 17) possibly captured an even more famous and first complete image of Earth. In which the Sun was at a distance of 28,000 miles from the Earth. Known as the ‘Blue Marble’ photo. Next year 50 years will have passed since the Blue Marble photo. Experts believe that the time has come to take another picture of the Earth. In December 2022, the Earth will be in the same position relative to the Sun as it was in December 1972. This will give an opportunity to take a picture of the whole Earth at the same distance and angle as before.
Earth will have changed a lot in half a century
Although satellites have taken many impressive pictures of the entire planet since then, none of them resembled the original. Although this photo will still be beautiful, but now the earth will not look the same. Deserts such as the Sahara may have expanded, cloud systems may have changed, Antarctic ice may have retreated and the Earth would appear less green. Viewed side-by-side, the two images would show two distinct ‘blue marbles’ that would have changed significantly in 50 years.
Earth’s Blue Marble photo completes 50 years