April 23, 2014 8:35 pm

From “Earthrise” to #GlobalSelfies…


Image showing some of the 22 languages in which NASA created their "#GlobalSelfie" signs.

For Earth Day 2014, NASA created their “#GlobalSelfie” signs in 22 languages. Image courtesy of La Nacion.

“Earthrise” – the iconic photograph of Earth taken from lunar orbit on Dec. 24, 1968 by Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders – is often considered to be one of the most important – and reproduced – photographs ever taken. It was the first time we ever actually saw Earth floating in the vastness of space… and it changed how we thought of home and gave fuel to the growing environmental movement.

As Neil deGrasse Tyson tweeted: “Earthrise” — We travelled a quarter-million miles to explore the Moon, and discovered Earth for the first time.

While NASA’s “Global Selfie” event yesterday for Earth Day 2014 may never be as influential, either environmentally or psychologically, as “Earthrise,” it is indicative of a rebirth of interest in exploration of the cosmos and our place within it.

Young children are talking about growing up and being astronauts again – and to be the first human being to set foot on Mars. Space geeks are getting into friendly, beer-fueled arguments about whether we’ll find life first on Europa, Titan or an exoplanet. People around the world cheered as they watched the landing of Curiosity on Mars and sighed when China’s Jade Rabbit sent its last message from the moon: “Goodnight, Earth, Goodnight, humanity.”

We are looking to the skies again, and we are doing it together, all around the world.

We have an International Space Station, India has an orbiter on route to Mars, the European Space Agency has ongoing missions to Venus and Mars, and international cooperation in the exploration of space is not the exception, but the norm.

Maybe there’s a reason NASA called it a #GlobalSelfie and provided their sign in 22 languages?

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!

–Jeffrey Simons

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