One of the most significant anniversaries in human history has just passed, with little notice.
Christmas, 1968 – 40 years ago – Apollo 8 was the first manned space vehicle to completely escape the pull of earth’s gravity, travel to and around the moon and return. This picture – one of the most famous in the world – is called “Earth Rise” – and captures the view as the Apollo spacecraft came out from behind the moon and back into the view of our home planet.
If you’ve seen the Al Gore slide show or his film, ‘Inconvenient Truth’ you will recall that he begins his presentation with this and one other picture of earth from space. His point – and it’s a very valid one – is that this event, one of the most unique in human history, represented a particular opportunity for us. For the first time we could see our world from the outside. We could see how beautiful it is. We could see how fragile it is. We began to realize how really small it is compared to the vast, vast universe we were just beginning to discover.