For this latest episode, I got to talk with space philosopher and author Frank White, the man who literally wrote the book on the Overview Effect. This term describes the psychological shift astronauts experience when going to space and seeing Earth without national boundaries or divisions. The first edition was released in 1987 when only two space agencies sent people to space, and the commercial space sector barely existed.
Today, the term has become mainstream with the rise of the NewSpace industry and commercial astronauts. There’s also a renewed interest in space exploration, thanks to new and exciting missions that are doing everything from exploring Mars and the outer reaches of the Solar System to preparing to send humans back to the Moon (to stay, this time!) Twenty-five years ago, Frank predicted that these sorts of changes would allow more people to experience the Overview Effect and how it could contribute to creating a better world.
It’s little wonder why Frank’s book has been re-released several times with updated material, more interviews with astronauts, and more thoughts on the future. Today, Frank continues to spread the lessons astronauts have learned via the Overview Institute and countless education and outreach efforts.
Be sure to check out The Overview: Effect Space Exploration and Human Evolution and other books by Frank White on his website, and head over to the Overview Institute to learn more about its efforts.
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One thought on “Episode Thirteen of Stories from Space is Now Live!”
I’ve certainly heard stories about how astronauts felt, looking down on the Earth from space. Never knew there was a term for that effect. A really good sciency word to know!