It’s happening again. Seeing the earth from space is raising our awareness, as a species, of the precious and precarious nature of life on what astronomer Carl Sagan called our “mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.” Many U.S. astronauts commented on the transformative personal experience of seeing the earth from space. Chinese astronauts are having the same experience. More importantly, they are communicating the heart of Carl Sagan’s message to the large Chinese television audiences following their accomplishments in space.
As the three-person crew from the Shenzhou 10 mission was returning to Earth this morning, the CCTV news anchor covering the touchdown asked Chinese astronaut Liu Wang, a member of the preceding mission, to recall his feelings at the moment he returned to Earth from his 13-day journey to China’s Tiangong-1 spacelab.