Is space travel our salvation? Perhaps, but just not in the ways we might have thought.
The sky is a deeply rooted metaphor of the infinite, the untouchable celestial realm inhabited by gods. Those who traveled to the moon reacted genuinely in unscripted ways about where they went, what they traveled through, and how moved they were to see Earth in unexpected ways.
Today, spacecraft imagery, computer graphics, data visualization and gaming technology have enabled an accurate portrayal of the universe, both as we have charted it and how we simulate its behavior to our best understanding. We now explore this authentic virtual space and become familiar with that rich celestial realm seeing back to the beginning of time.
Compared to the size of our planet, the speed of light is blindingly fast, and astronomical distances are ridiculously vast, however we can visually traverse the known universe by scaling our perspective exponentially similar to how we use scientific notation in mathematics. Showing what surrounds us gives context to better understand our condition, our origins and possible futures. By comparing our world to those around us, we realize how special life is; how long it’s been here and how briefly human thought has even had this perspective.
Seeing Earth against cosmic scale exposes the absurdity of human difference, the invisibility of borders, the commonality of needs, all within a terrifying thinness of atmosphere. We hold the power of the stars; yet lack the power over tribal divisions.
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