The most beautiful and influential photographs ever made were of the whole earth seen from space. They were taken from the moon, almost as an afterthought, by the astronauts of the Apollo space programme. They inspired a generation to think more seriously about our responsibility for this tiny oasis in space, the ‘blue marble’ falling through empty darkness.
This is a book about the long road to the capture of those unforgettable images. It is a history of the space programme and of the ways in which it transformed our view of the earth and changed the lives of the astronauts who walked in space and on the moon. It is the story of the often blemished visionaries who inspired that journey into space: Charles Lindbergh, Robert Goddard and Wernher Von Braun, and of the courageous pilots who were the first humans to escape the Earth’s orbit.
‘An elegantly written history of man’s efforts to reach space… [Potter] has taken a considered risk in retelling the tale of how we first came to see our planet from the outside. It pays off beautifully. The result is a fresh and elegantly wrought account of mankind’s journey from firing lumps of jerryrigged metal from cabbage fields to crunching around in the dust of another world… The Earth Gazers is a terrific piece of writing.’ —The Times