Astronauts call it the 'overview effect' - the profound sensation of seeing Earth from space. They speak about how beautiful the Earth is and how fragile the atmosphere. They return to Earth telling of auroras draped over the Earth like a green curtain, and borderless land masses rather than countries.
Those spending time on the International Space Station, the orbiting laboratory 240 miles above our planet have become some of Instagram’s biggest celebrities posting stunning photos of Earth. Now those images have come together in a new IMAX, 3-D film shot by the astronauts on the station. Narrated by Jennifer Lawrence, “A Beautiful Planet,” gives viewers the closet view of Earth from space they can get without strapping into a rocket.
Only 550 people have visited space since Yuri Gagarin 55 years ago. But director Toni Myers aims to change that in the 45 minute documentary.
“I hope that it gives audiences an opportunity to experience what we experience,” said Kjell Lindgren, one of the NASA astronauts featured in the film. Despite whizzing over the surface of the Earth, he said he felt a strong connection to the planet, which is, ultimately, the point of the film.
One of the first to experience the 'overview effect' was Ed White, the Gemini 4 astronaut who in 1965 became the first American to perform a space walk. Floating in space, while passing over his hometown of Houston, then California, he was supposed to stay out for about 12 minutes. Instead, he stayed outside for twice that long, giddy and agog, 103 miles high, until commander James McDivitt was forced to call him in like a mother summoning her children at dinner.
Original story here.