Astronaut Ron Garan describes the Earth in a new video for Earth Day 2015, describing our home planet as a fragile planet.
This new look at the Earth is showing at 90 movie theaters around the world. This full-length documentary, featuring images of our home world from space, premiered on April 22.
Garan was born in 1961 and flew to the International Space Station twice, in 2008 and 2011. For the first of these missions, he flew aboard the space shuttle on the 123rd flight of that program. After the retirement of the shuttle, the astronaut again launched to the ISS, this time on board a Soyuz spacecraft, managed by the Russian space program. Following a total of 22 days in space, he retired from NASA in 2013.
"We are in the midst of a global crisis of perspective. We have forgotten the undeniable truth that everything is connected. Planetary is a provocative and breathtaking wake-up call, a cross continental, cinematic journey, that explores our cosmic origins and our future as a species. Planetary is a poetic and humbling reminder that it's time to shift our perspective," reads the plot summary on IMDB.
Planetary combines images of the Earth taken during the Apollo missions with sights and sounds of life on our home planet, including downtown scenes shot in Tokyo and Manhattan as well as visions of a Buddhist monasteries nestled in the Himalayan Mountains. The film also contains interviews with well-known environmentalist Bill McKibben and the first African-American woman in space, Mae Jemison. Planetary explores the history of the human race on the Earth, from our origins as a species, following through an exploration of our collective impact on the planet, to a discussion of what the future may hold for billions of people.
"One of the really interesting things about a long-duration spaceflight is you get to watch the Earth transform over the weeks and the months that you're up there. From that perspective, the perspective over time, you really get the sense that we have this living, breathing organism hanging in the blackness of space just riding through the universe," Garan said.
Filmmaker Guy Reid, the director of the 2012 film Overview, also directed this documentary and focused on the environment and on how humans impact the world and each other. Financing to complete the film included $86,519 collected on Kickstarter.
The video is available for purchase or rent online. A free trailer may be viewed at home on the Planetary Collective Vimeo channel.