Earth Seen from Apollo 17 (NASA)

The Big Blue Marble Revisited

Shatner’s view from space

When I was ten years old, the “Big Blue Marble” picture of the earth was taken from Apollo 17.

For much of the world, it was a perspective-changing event in a good way. I don’t know that there has been anything else like it in human history. There was not just a hope but a sense that it would usher in an era of cooperation and a new age of humanity.

May years later, in “Star Trek: Insurrection,” Captain Picard describes the perfect moment:” Seeing my home planet from space for the first time.”

Captain Kirk, in real life, recently had that same experience in real life, and instead, it brought him only profound sadness.



I, myself, can’t help but wonder whether, in that sadness, Shattner was remembering the hope we all had had on the day of the Big Blue Marble.

And then my mind jumps about to Insurrection, where Anij asks Picard, “… where can warp drive take us, except away from here?”

Our “here” still has a lot going for it and a lot of potential, though sometimes, I fear that days by it has less and less of each.

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Written by Russell Brand

Russell has started three successful companies, one of which helped agencies of the federal government become very early adopters of open source software, long before that term was coined. His first project saved The American taxpayer 250 million dollars. In his work within federal agency, he was often called, “the arbiter of truth,” facilitating historically hostile groups and factions to effectively work together towards common goals

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