The Overview Effect
Astronauts changed by Space Travel

Ed note: Below is a truly interesting and inspiring (19 minute) video focussed on the Overview Effect. It could help to give you pause for thought and improve your view on things – certainly does on mine, especially where I live. Down here we’re sometimes too close to the situation to get it all into perspective…

We have this connection to Earth, I mean it’s our home, and I don’t know how you can come back and not in some way be changed. It may be subtle.

You see differences in different people, you know, in just general response when they come back from space. But I think collectively everybody has that emblazoned on their memories – the way the planet looks.

You know you can’t take that lightly. You realise you have been blessed by the opportunity to see that.

Nicole Stott – Shuttle/ISS Astronaut

Picture of 'blue marble' Earth, the Overview EffectMade for the 40th anniversary of the famous ‘Blue Marble’ photograph taken of Earth from space, Planetary Collective presents this short film ‘Overview’ documenting astronauts’ life-changing stories of seeing the Earth from the outside – a perspective-altering experience often described as the Overview Effect.

The Overview Effect

The Overview Effect, was first described by author Frank White in 1987. It is an experience that transforms astronauts perspective of the planet and mankind’s place upon it.

Common features of the experience involve:

  • a feeling of awe for the planet
  • a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life
  • and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment

Overview explores this phenomenon through interviews with five astronauts who have experienced the Overview Effect. The film also features insights from commentators and thinkers on the wider implications and importance of this understanding for society, and our relationship to the environment.

Find out more… and get involved!

To find out more visit the Overview microsite – from where most of the text above was drawn. You may wish to get involved in the Overview Institute and, or check out the Fragile Oasis website.

You might also find the article, In danger of sleepwalking through life, of interest from a philosophical perspective.

Associated links:

A Tour of the Moon
The Illusion of Reality
The Man who moved the World

The Overview Effect - Post archived

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