Space, as a wise man once said, is the final frontier. But with our ambition and pioneering instinct, mankind has never been particularly daunted by frontiers. Indeed, our drive to achieve, to tame and to settle has compelled us to overcome the wildest of frontiers and to make ourselves at home in places that previous generations would never have considered habitable.
Space holds a special place in the human consciousness. Before we were even properly aware of it, we yearned for it. The stars, so important to humans as ancient sources of wisdom and guidance, hold just as much draw for us today as they did for our ancient ancestors. Today, though, our shared dream of slipping ‘the surly bonds of Earth‘ has been made a reality; we have taken the initial steps on the journey that will render space as another conquered frontier.
This genuinely amazing video, compiled by filmmaker Michael König using images shot from recent missions on the International Space Station (ISS), reveals the next step of that journey: reflection. We can’t help it when we contemplate the unparalleled beauty of our planet, the flashes of lightning beneath the shimmering green aurora, the crystal-clear lightmaps of our cities. It happens when we realise that we have achieved so much in some respects, but that we lack in others; that we are all united in calling this planet home and that we need to care for it and eachother; that we are, ultimately, so very small in the grand scheme of things.
Looking back on the planet that sustains us all seems almost like an afterthought for a species that’s about to step forward into the infinite realms of space. But if we’re ever to get anywhere, we should never forget where we come from.