The Overview Effect is a phrase first used by author Frank White in 1987 to describe the transforming experience of astronauts when they see our planet from space and comprehend how small a part of the universe mankind really is. Astronauts often describe feelings of awe for our planet, a very real sense of how interconnected all life is, and renewed feelings of our environmental responsibility.
Indeed, NASA astronaut and first man to step on the Moon, Neil Armstrong, had a sense of this when looking at the Earth from space one day and reportedly saying “I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small”.
This short film, 'Overview' explores this phenomenon through interviews with five astronauts who have all experienced this sense of seeing the fragility of our planet and the realisation of how interconnected everything is. Sadly, only a select few currently have the privilege of seeing this perspective- altering view of planet Earth for themselves – I can only imagine what impact it must have.