We need to think as a planet not nations

NASA

When we first started sending people in to space we got a view of the Earth that had never previously been possible.

We saw our home as a single place and not a series of countries surrounded by invisible borders.

It was a beautiful, fragile world and every human alive and that has ever been alive was born and lived their life on that blue ball.

NASA

We now have people living on the space station all the time and looking down on our planet. People from a wide range of nations and backrounds.

Soon we will be sending people back to the moon and even further. We will eventually become an interplanetary species.

That is where nations will become even less important. We will have to work in cooperation to make a Mars colony work and those early colonists will work together as human, not in competition as nationals.

NASA

If the early pictures of Earth from space didn’t make us think as a single species then the Earthrise image, showing our precious world rising over the lunar landscape was a clear sign that we share one home.

NASA/VOYAGER 1

Carl Sagan was aware of this and in 1990 he instructed Voyager 1 to turn around and get a photo of the Earth from 6 billion km away – to show just how small our planet is on a galactic scale.

Since then there have been a number of similar images and attempts – although not from as far out.

The curiosity rover on Mars took an image of Earth in the Martian sky.

NASA/CURIOSITY

But one of my favourites is the image known as The Day The Earth Smiled – a picture of Earth from Saturn taken by Cassini on a day as many people as possible were instructed to look up and pose.

NASA/CASSINI

As all of these photos show – we are one of many species sharing a small blue rock in a relatively small solar system in an average sized galaxy in a local group of many galaxies in one universe of what is likely many universes.

Many of the images were taken by probes built by space agencies and people of many countries working together to do something special.

I personally think all of that puts any differences we might have from nation to nation into a vast perspective.

Yes I’m British, yes I live in Jersey but first I’m human, I’m from planet Earth – and so are you.

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