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“Bring Him Home.” The Martian at JPL’s Mission Control Room

THE MODERN MARINER Neil Armstrong said it.

Dr. Edward C. Stone

“The Voyager mission has opened up our solar system in a way not possible before the Space Age.” “It revealed our neighbors in the outer solar system and showed us how much there is to learn and how diverse the bodies are that share the solar system with our own planet Earth.”


In the old frontier of westward migration, two paths diverge. One branch leads to Los Angeles and on to the sea. The second, less traveled, leads further on, through Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratories where NASA’s Mariner and Voyager missions shift the journey skyward into the heavens and out into space. From the Mars Pathfinder’s role in the film The Martian to Voyager’s role in the first Star Trek movie, the retelling of the mariner myth repeats the themes: the awesome power of nature, the power of belief, the need to take action, survive or die, fight the good fight and then get back home. As the true heirs of the mariner myth, the astronauts repeat the same theme. After blasting into space, the benefit of distance turns the focus of astronauts from looking further into space to gazing back down upon the Earth. There they see what no photograph can capture: the majesty of taking in the entire planet at once as it hangs suspended in space.

Star Trek repeats the

myth: the Cold War, Race, Religion, pollution—each has been an outlet for anxiety about these issues and the message that something must be done. All told, StarTrek has made $1.23 billion.

Seeing what very few have seen, the astronauts share a similar observation. It has been called the Overview Effect. Like looking into a mirror for the first time, the perspective of seeing the entire earth from a distance causes a “cognitive shift in awareness.” Each speaks of how delicate the Earth appears spinning in space; and that something must be done to protect it.



Made with JPL, The Martian is a 2015 version of the Myth of the Modern Mariner that is focused on the sole mission of getting home.




Earthrise 1968

“When astronauts first saw Earth from afar during the Apollo 8 mission in 1968 — the US’s second manned mission headed toward the moon — they described a cognitive shift in awareness after seeing our planet “hanging in the void.”

Yuri Gagarian said it first:

“Orbiting Earth in the spaceship, I saw how beautiful our planet is. People, let us preserve and increase this beauty, not destroy it!


Costing $108 million, The Martian made $629 million in world-wide screenings. The Modern Mariner’s “Friday” is often a geek who saves the day. The Martian Continued on DIY on steroids as JPL page 157…

xcientists bring the hero home in a “My City” atmosphere.





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"My City"  

"My City" tells the story of Pasadena’s City Beautiful Movement and the century that followed, exploring how this proven approach can be rev...

"My City"  

"My City" tells the story of Pasadena’s City Beautiful Movement and the century that followed, exploring how this proven approach can be rev...

Profile for mycityis