One of the universally-championed benefits of human space exploration is not actually related to any physical activities performed while in space. Instead, an important aspect of leaving our world is the change in perception that space exploration has upon astronauts themselves, and the societies that receive them, upon their return.
Irrespective of country of origin, religion (or lack thereof), cultural background, or political ideology, and having seen firsthand the fragility of Earth in the context of the rest of the cosmos, a great majority of astronauts return as prophets of a unified Earth and humanity upon it.
Hearing what they have to say is powerful stuff, considering that they’ve experienced something still very unique to human experience: Leaving Earth.
Fighting Fire with Fire
So, as a bit of a social experiment, I took one of my favorite astronaut images and paired it with some of the more poignant, “overview effect”-inspired astronaut quotes as a meme (see image at right for an example) to inspire the question:
“How might the world be different if astronauts ran it?”
This is a sort of guerrilla warfare approach to promoting the idea that supporting human space exploration has more behind it than developing new ...