NPR

The First Men To Have The Whole World In Their Sights

Christopher Potter's new history of space flight, The Earth Gazers, charts the road to the first photographs of Earth — and how it changes an astronaut to glimpse the entire planet at once.
In one of the most reproduced images of all time, the crew of Apollo 17 captured the perspective of Earth known as "Blue Marble." Source: NASA

Solar eclipses, supermoons, a star-studded night sky — for us earthlings, looking up into space can be a transformative experience.

But what about the other way around? What is it like to see the entire earth from space? Only a select group of astronauts have had that grand opportunity.

"There was actually a physical moment in time when we answered a puzzle — something that's puzzled us throughout the whole of human history: What did the Earth

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