"All astronauts who have flown wish that every human being had the opportunity to fly in space. There’s a spiritual feeling that comes over us when we see the whole Earth from above, when we realize that everything is one and that we’re all connected. There’s a consciousness shift. You look down and see the Earth in all its beauty, but beyond the Earth there’s nothing except billions of miles of empty black void. Within our solar system, we know that Earth is the solitary oasis of life. And who knows, maybe we’re also the solitary oasis of life in our galaxy, so that’s mentally and emotionally very profound.
We really get an impression of the fragility of the Earth and its ecosystems, so surely what’s most important is preservation of the human species. It’s not the borders between countries, it’s not the price of a barrel of oil, it’s not trade tariffs, it’s not illegal immigration. Earth is a tiny, fragile oasis of life, and what’s most important is human survival. An d you see that so clearly from orbit."
-Dr. Robert Thirsk, Astronaut, Canadian Space Agency
STS-78 Space Shuttle Columbia, Expedition 20/21 International Space Station
Chancellor, University of Calgary http://www.macleans.ca/society/science/question-and-astronaut-robert-thirsk/