People would treat Earth differently if they saw it from space – ESA astronaut to RT

International Space Station (ISS) crew member Alexander Gerst. © Shamil Zhumatov
Looking at the Earth from space makes one understand that it is fragile and needs protection, Alexander Gerst, (European Space Agency ESA) astronaut, told RT at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

“If we see the Earth from the outside, we realize how important it is to protect it; how thin the atmosphere is; how fragile it is. That’s something we don’t realize when we’re here because it all seems infinite and all resources seem undepletable,” Gerst said.

“I wish everybody could fly to space once to see it with their own eyes and I bet we would treat our planet differently,” the astronaut, who spent 165 days at the International State Station (ISS) between May and November 2014, added.

Gerst told RT that space teaches one to really value the things that seem commonplace in life on Earth.

“When you’re in space you always miss a few things: mainly, the things that you had before and then you suddenly don’t have them... Running in the forest is something that I really missed. Or – funny enough – because you float when you sleep, I actually missed falling down in my bed and just completely relaxing,” the 39-year-old said.

The ESA astronaut called the ISS “a great symbol” of cooperation between two countries that often pursue different political aims on Earth.

“It’s not only the most complex machine that humanity has ever built, but it was built by many different nations from different continents in space together. And despite some political troubles of these times, people work together very successfully there,” he said.

READ MORE: ISS trio lands safe & sound in Kazakhstan, 1st return from space after sunset

“I had a crew with an American, with a Russian and we did experiments together that were for the benefit of all humans down on Earth,” Gerst added.

Gerst talked to RT ahead of the 46/47 ISS mission team takeoff scheduled for Tuesday.

The new crew consists of European Space Agency astronaut Timothy Peake, Russian cosmonaut Yury Malenchenko and NASA astronaut Timothy Kopra.