Seeing the world from space

When Apollo 11 landed the first two humans on the Moon on July 20, 1969, seven-year-old Ron Garan was at home, watching the historic moment on television. That was the moment his life changed.

“We had just become a different species, no longer confined to our planet,” he reminisces. “I wanted to be a part of that group of explorers.”

Now 55 years old, the former NASA astronaut’s outlook on space travel mirrors fellow former astronaut William Anders, who shot the famous Earthrise photograph of our planet on the Apollo 8 mission. Anders once said, "We came all this way to explore the Moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth."

Garan recalls gazing out the window of his space station and brimming with deep gratitude for the chance to see planet Earth from that unique viewpoint. “And gratitude for the gift of the planet that we have been given,” he says. “It is just indescribably, breathtakingly beautiful.”

The American looks back with amazement at 15 different nations putting on a united front and collaborating towards building the intricate space station. “Imagine what we can do if we take that same level of cooperation and bring it down to the Earth's surface” he muses.

Garan’s orbital perspective is a movement we can partake in to preserve the beauty of the planet we all call home. As he says, “We are one people, travelling on one planet, towards one common future.”