The overview effect is the term given to the existential event that happens to some astronauts when they look down on the earth from space for the first time. They see one world without national boundaries, separate races, or different religions and realize all of humanity are comrades, all alone on a single blue and green planet in space, reports Wired. Now a group called The Overview Institute want to bring the effect that they are named after to everyone on the planet by creating a realistic VR experience that enables everyone to experience what an astronaut does when he looks down on our planet. The hope is that this type of VR experience could literally change everyone’s view of humanity. And that’s not such a nutty thing, says Wired:
Even for those left on Earth, seeing the iconic Earthrise image—a shot of our planet viewed from Apollo 8’s orbit around the Moon—changed things. Many credit that image with starting the environmental movement, because Earth looked so fragile and blue and in need of care and protection.
[Photo: Flickr user NASA Johnson]