After over four decades of human visitation to outer space, many people are rather blasé about the images that come back from space. Well, astronaut Ron Garan aimed to change that during his most recent mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The video below, which runs just a little over seven minutes, represents an incredible opportunity for us terrestrial creatures to have a front row seat–and a window seat at that–as the ISS streaks around the circumference of Earth.
Colonel Garan annotated major events and landmarks as they appear in the film, but we were particularly struck by the views of the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis (as well as an incredible multi-continent lightning display about half-way through the film). Perhaps even more stunning is the nearly omnipresent perspective of the thin blue band of gases that surrounds this watery planet–we look up into the daytime sky and can’t seem to believe it does not go on forever. From the window of the ISS, it is painfully clear that the tellurian sky is but a thin veil between life and the void of outer space.
Although we are terribly proud of our blog layout here at Primitive State, we highly recommend that you push the button to watch this video in full screen mode. Also, turn up your speakers.