A Beautiful Planet (2016) Script

Our milky way is just one among billions of galaxies in the universe.

In every way, an ordinary galaxy.

It's 100,000 light years across.

There are hundreds of billions of stars here.

Almost lost inside this huge swarm is one average sized star.

As stars go, it's quite unremarkable.

Nevertheless, it's the most special place in all the cosmos.

Orbiting this star is the only place we know in all the universe to harbor life.

Our beautiful planet is a world of water,

sparkling blue in the light of our star.

Two thirds of it is ocean.

Gossamer clouds drift above it, driven by ocean currents.

All of it is wrapped in a delicate cocoon of air that shields us from our star's radiation.

Three brave explorers are about to leave the safety of earth.

They are an American, Terry virts, a Russian, Anton shkaplerov, and an Italian, Samantha christoferetti.

Their mission: Six months in space to study microgravity, do biomedical research, and observe the earth.

They're sealed inside this tiny metal cocoon, a Russian soyuz spacecraft traveling at 17,500 miles an hour.

Their destination?

The international space station.

It was built in orbit by 16 countries.

It's a research lab, training facility, and observatory, all powered by the sun.

A truly awesome example of what we can achieve when we work together.

J someone knocking at the door j j somebody ringing the bell & j someone's knocking at the door j j someone's knocking at the door j j somebody's ringing the bell & j do me a favor j there they are. J open the door j hey hey, you're hung up in the cord.

Already on board to welcome the new arrivals, Russian crew members Sasha samokutaev and Yelena serova.

The arrival to the space station was possibly the happiest moment of my life, really.

And then they were, Yelena, Sasha, and butch welcome us on board and it was just sheer happiness.

We hugged, really I was like a child at that point, I mean, it's something I had dreamed of for years, I'd studied the space station, I'd worked so hard to get there and finally I was there.

Come on man.

I heard you bagging all that.

Hi, mom.

Terry is welcomed by commander butch wilmore.

Great launch.

You know it was a pretty wild ride.

Butch describes the crazy scene.

As I watched Anton, I mean, he was thrilled and doing flips, and excited, floating around hitting the ceiling.

Samantha, the look on her face, just absolutely thrilling, it was literally electric in the room, it was fabulous.

Samantha recalls her first ever view from space.

But I just couldn't resist take a peek

and I could just see the earth majestically flowing by and it was like a river.

And you know, I don't know what happiness is, but I was definitely happy at that time.

The cupella is a magical window unlike any other on the spectacle of our earth and ourselves, past, present and future.

What I always found especially moving were the passes where we would fly from the Atlantic and then fly over Gibraltar onto the mediterranean and it was almost like I was doing this journey that travelers from myths and legends and the past had dreamt off or performed in the reverse way right from the mediterannean, through Gibraltar, which once was considered the end of the known world.

More than 500 years ago explorers rounded the stormy tip of South Africa.

As an omen for future trade, they named it the cape of good hope.

At the same time, the glorious Caribbean beckoned with the untold riches of the new world.

Aboriginal people came from Asia more than 30,000 years ago bringing their spiritual ties to this land, the continent we now know as Australia.

The mauri people from polynesia traveled thousands of miles in tiny canoes across the pacific ocean before they reached New Zealand.

Home to the ancient inca civilization the longest mountain range in the world, the andies.

They stretch 45,000 miles across some of the most extreme climate zones on earth, from ice fields to deserts.

The oldest and driest desert is the namib in Africa.

You can see our climates from space, the Great Lakes of north America lie trapped in ice and snow for more than a third of the year.

You can also see evidence of earths violent past.

Asteroid impacts have left scars on it's surface.

This crater in Quebec is 62 miles across.

The earth is still active, volcanoes tear through it's surface, the comchakka peninsular in Russia has over 100 of them.

Now Terry birds describes his experience.

One of the most beautiful things to see from space is thunder storms at night.

And there's certain parts of the earth, central Africa especially, but also south east Asia, there are just amazing amounts of thunder storms.

You see thousands of flashes per minute.

Unbelieveable amount of power, when you think about a giant lightning bolt going off near your house and how loud it is, and how that scares you and the dog runs under the table, well when you see it from space there's so many of these things happening at the same time, it's truly amazing.

You see power, a funnel 25 miles in diameter of the center of a hurricane or a typhoon and you go oh my.

= typhoon mysac was amazing, I've never seen anything like that, the eye was so big, so well defined.

That you realize that that's energy and it power, powerful energy.

Far above the storm, every drop of water is carefully rationed.

There's no showers in space, so there's no, you can't just go under the water and let it run, it's just kind of wet towels and wiping down, but you can get pretty clean and washing your hair is not too bed.

In principle we want to recycle all the water which means that the urine gets recycled, but also your sweat, all the humidity from the air which is accuperated into the system via the air conditioning system also gets recycled into portable water.

It's not 100% efficient system, so we do have water bags on the space station as well.

The space x resupply ship called dragon arrives from Florida.

It's one of the first commercial craft to bring up supplies.

It brings food and water and equipment, and without that we wouldn't be able to live more then a few extra months on the space station.

But on earth we kind of don't have any supply ships, it's almost like a mission to Mars when you're not gonna get a supply ship you have to pack everything with you.

When we're all doing cargo ops together, I mean it is organized bedlam, literally, criss crossing, people flying, packages flying, going here and there, and you have to get them in the right place, you can't put it in the wrong spot because you'll lose it.

You won't be able to find it because there's so much, literally thousands of items and you can't remember where you put every single one of them.

That's why we have to have this database.

We lost a 14 inch torque wrench and it was gone for five weeks, and just floated off I guess, and went into some little nook and cranny somewhere, hid itself, and it finally reappeared one day.

I like to sleep floating.

So I did not attach my sleeping bag to the walls at all, and especially at the beginning, I would just like, close my eyes and let myself float, and just fall asleep.

Butch and Terry are getting ready for a space walk.

There are a lot of complex systems on the outside of the station, and sometimes, they need fixing.

If you wanna go outside of course you have to survive in outer space.

This suit allows you to do that.

So butch really fills out the suit, but it also means when you're trying to put the suit on or take it off, it's quite some work.

Getting out of the hatch is an entire operation in and of itself.

We have so much equipment on us.

Your backpack tends to bang into the hatch, or your helmet wants to bang into the hatch.

You walk around by grabbing onto things with your gloves, almost 300 degrees on the sun side of the space station.

You get in the shade, it's minus 275 degrees.

You feel that inside the suit.

My fingertips in the sunlight, like, I could feel them on fire almost, from the fatigue a little bit but also from the heat coming through on that sun side of the orbit.

So you know, I'd curl my fingers at times and put them in the shade a little bit and let them cool down.

Okay butch, we'll take them.

You can lose where you are on the station.

So you're always thinking you have a safety tether attached to the station.

It's on a reel, like a fishing reel type thing with a spring that always reels it in.

You can be upside down, twisted, inverted, and completely lose your spatial awareness about where you are and what your attitude is, and you can easily get tangled up in that safety tether if you're not cautious.

Every single movement you make, you're making an effort to think through it.

The outside of the space station is not just a sidewalk.

It's a jungle of wires and equipment and metal bars and tresses.

Well, if you accidentally sliced your glove, or your space suit on one of those sharp edges, that could create a leak, and if that leak were big enough, you would die.

The hardest thing during a space walk, for me, is getting out of the hut.

The only way that we found to actually get butch to come out of the upper torso of the hut was for me to basically, push and shake, and push and shake, until he finally was able to free himself from the suit.



There we go.

Holidays in space were great, but to be honest, I missed home.

Of course we didn't wanna leave Santa hanging.

If there's somebody that you don't wanna make mad, it's Santa clause, so we put the milk and cookies in the air lock.

We weren't sure exactly how he would get in the space station, but we assumed the airlock would be kind of our equivalent of a chimney.

So we thought that would be a good place to leave the milk and cookies.

= ooh!




For you.

= nice.

For your haircut?

= that is cool.

I think this is a secret message that I need to cut my hair.

I speak three languages.

I speak english, Russian, and Tennessee.

As you're learning Russian, they say the first 10 years is the hardest.

That's a fact!

And then all of a sudden, the day arrives, boom!

And it's time to go home.

The soyuz spacecraft is ready to take butch, Sasha, and yolana home.

And of course, you're looking forward, you're coming home, your wife, your family, you've been away from them for eight months.

Derek's man to man time, make us proud.

But of course, the people that you're leaving behind too, you spent six months with them, and it's a very melancholy feeling, because the hatch shuts, and they're gone, and you realize that part of your life is over, and you're not gonna have this same fellowship with those people ever again, and it is a sad feeling.

See you bud.

J baby break a sweat j j break a sweat j j baby break a sweat j j don't get tired yet j tired yet j j don't get tired yet in space, without gravity pulling you down, you grow, and I grew almost two inches.

Unfortunately the minute I got back to earth, I lost those.

In zero g, without the loading of gravity, your bones and muscles will weaken very quickly.

To stay in shape is extremely important for the crews to exercise, a lot.

J baby break a sweat j j break a sweat j j baby break a sweat j well, we have two and a half hours of exercise scheduled every day, and that includes cardio, and this marvelous machine, which is called arid, and you can do things like, squats and dead lifts, and shoulder presses.

So this is a great example of no three being busy.

I'm working on the bathroom, and there's a lot of plumbing, and valves, and systems that I was changing, all while Samantha's exercising.

It's a busy place, but it's important to keep this equipment working.

J baby break a sweat j alright, Samantha.

I'm gonna put the final clip in here.

I kept joking that he wouldn't be qualified for his flight unless he came with me to my hair dresser to learn how to cut my hair.

Of all the things we do as astronauts, this scares me the most.

For the crews that live on the station, one of the most important things of all is being able to see, from day to day what we here on the ground can't see so clearly.

What is happening to our earth, and how we are changing it.

We began with a home of lush, green forests, animals, and plants.

With more and more of us to feed, we began clearly the land for farms, but when you cut down the trees, there are other losses too.

Great forests once covered much of the island of Madagascar.

You can see how many of them are gone.

Without tree roots to anchor it, the red soil oozes down hill, clogging the rivers, and vanishing into the sea.

Unique animals, like the lemurs are losing their homes.

The great rainforest in Brazil continues to disappear.

It's home to nearly half the species found on earth.

In just four decades, almost half a million square miles have been cut down and burned.

From space you can see huge smoke plumes stretching across the rainforest for hundreds of miles.

Thousands of species up in smoke, forever lost.

As the forests burn, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses spew into our atmosphere.

We've always taken our fresh air for granted, but we know now that the fossil fuels we burn also release clouds of pollution into the air we breathe.

They fill the atmosphere with gasses that cause the climate to change.

As a result, the earth's temperature is rising.

In California, it's affecting our most precious resource on earth, water.

Seeing California is beautiful from space.

It actually looks like a giant ice cream scooper went right down the middle part of the state and scooped out the central valley, but it's very brown, and you could really tell there's a drought going on, and that they could probably use a lot of rain.

In efforts to save parched crops we used ground water.

So much of it in the last 75 years, that parts of the valley have sunk 30 feet.

The life of ranchers and farmers depend on water rights, and who can take what water out of which river.

Even cities like San Diego, las Angeles, and Phoenix depend completely on their access to water.

The Colorado river basin supplies water to 40 million of us in seven states.

The reservoirs that make the system work are losing water at alarming rates.

They need huge amounts of runoff from snow to feed them, and the runoff has dwindled in recent years.

California's reservoirs could soon be dry.

I had never seen the himalayas at all, and the immense size was just, it was mind boggling.

They just went on for hundreds and hundreds of miles.

In the shadow of mount Everest, several of the earth's great rivers begin their journey across the Indian subcontinent.

They provide water to drink, irrigation for crops, a place for worship, but now the rising temperatures are causing glaciers and snow, high on the plateau, to melt.

The water supply of over 500 million people is now threatened.

By the time the river has reached the Ganges delta, they've become pipelines for all kinds of pollution,

But problems like this can be solved, and when we work at it, sometimes we succeed.

When I was a kid in the 70s, the chesapeake bay was a mess, and the fish, and the crabs were disappearing, and there was a big restriction.

You couldn't fish for rock fish, and other types of fish.

It's been cleaned up, and in a few decades time, it's a beautiful place now.

It's thriving.

That's a great success story of conservation.

It's a giant universe out there, but there's nowhere like earth.

It's a beautiful planet.

We have air that we can breathe, we have water that we can drink.

Food is there for us.

We have this life support system that's like, perfectly designed to support billions of humans and it's pretty amazing to see how much effort we had to put into designing and building the space station.

But what if our surface water disappeared all together?

This actually happened on our neighboring planet, Mars.

Unlike earth, Mars doesn't have a magnetic field.

Without any protection, its atmosphere was ripped away from the planet by the solar wind.

If you could stand on Mars today you would find a landscape of lifeless desolation.

Very cold and very dry.

But on earth things are going in a very different direction.

Ice and snow are melting at rates we've never seen before.

In Greenland, time-lapse cameras captured a 23 square mile chunk of the yakov slavin glacier breaking off.

The Greenland ice sheet is melting.

If the whole ice sheet were to melt sea levels could rise 20 feet.

As the level rises, low lying coastal areas will submerge.

The city of new Orleans could be gone,

But we could change this if we step up to limit the greenhouse gasses we're producing.

As human beings we heed to start to consider ourselves more and more as crew members of this earth, not passenger, you know?

Nobody gets a free ride.

You have a responsibility to take care of your fellow crew mates.

Just like we do on the space station.

It's more difficult to do it when you're talking about billions of people, but that's really the mindset that we have to work towards.

A new crew has arrived at the stations.

Two Russians, gennady padalka and mikhail korniyenko, and an American, Scott Kelly.

The mission for both Scott and mikhail, is to spend a full year here so researchers can study how they're affected by long-term space travel.

Scott is soon providing data for his study.

One of the more recent discoveries in terms of the effects of weightlessness on human physiology is the effect that it had on our eyes.

Several long deration crew members in the past have reported the worsening of their eyesight, while they were up in space.

= next one.

That was what we needed Scott.

Let's move on to the review.

I have an Espresso, it's a space Espresso machine, which was developed in Italy, and we actually, for the first time, could enjoy a good Espresso in space.

It's a welcomed change.

I'm actually gonna try and drink it out of this zero g cup.

Let's see what happens.

Very much an experiment, but it will be a lot nicer if I get to drink my Espresso from an actual cup, instead of from a pouch.

Let's see.

Wow, that was good.

That was real good.

Six months have passed, and it's time for Terry, Samantha, and Anton to say their goodbyes.

It's a bittersweet departure.

See you on earth.

Three new crew members have moved in.

They've set about a special project, which will be very important when people take longer journeys to other planets.

The best results are produced in this pink light.

Without soil, the crew is attempting to grow their own crops.

Kjell lindgren, an American medical doctor, inspects the progress.

Vege was an amazing experiment, to grow this plant in space but we also got to eat it.

Kjell"s crewmate, kimiya yui, is from Japan.

Well I know that I enjoyed the lettuce.

I think kimiya is not a big fan of vegetables.

His father is actually a lettuce farmer.

So I think he's had a lot of lettuce.

Happily, fresh food is about to arrive, this time on the Japanese htv resupply ship.

The htv maneuver is complete.

It's like a golden treasure box.

A golden treasure box?

You'll have to share your beef teriyaki bowl with me.

J brother bought a coconut, he bought it for a dime j j his sister had another one she paid it for the lime j j she put the lime in the coconut, she drank 'em bot' up j j she put the lime in the coconut, she drank 'em bot' up j j she put the lime in the coconut, she drank 'em bot' up j j she put the lime in the coconut j she call the doctor, woke 'I'm up j j and said doctor, ain't there nothin' I can take j j I said doctor, to relieve this belly ache j j I said doctor, ain't there nothin' I can take j j I said doctor, to relieve this belly ache j we are approaching england, and its great capital, London.

Across the english channel to right is France, and the glorious city of Paris.

Europe lies beyond.

During the daytime, it's kind of hard to tell that people are on earth.

You don't see that much evidence of humanity.

But at night, the same view tells a different story.

It's easy to see how populated our planet really is, and how many of us have gathered in towns and cities.

Now you can spot famous cities like Amsterdam, Brussels,

the capital of Russia, Moscow,

the vibrant cities of Japan, Osaka, nagoya, and Tokyo,

beloved Rome, and Naples.

Italy at night is very modern because it's incredibly bright.

It's a densely populated country of course, so you really see all the cities, and you have this very distinct shape that you can very definitely see at night as well, of this boot, reaching into the darkness of the mediterranean.

It is just overwhelmingly beautiful.

The undulating ribbon of light is nile river, illuminated by people drawn from the desert to its water.

Cairo gleams like a Jewel in the delta's crown.

To the left, Israel, and the cities of tel aviv and Jerusalem.

= I think one of the most amazing sights I saw with my eye was coming across the Southern United States, Florida, into the Caribbean sea, through the Bahamas at night, with a full moon, and you could see the aqua colors in the bahama area, all the way down through Cuba, and then the Dominican Republic, Haiti, on into Puerto Rico, and then the virgin islands beyond that.

Oh my goodness.

Fishing boats really stand out at night, especially in Asia, and the animen sea, and near Thailand, there's a bunch of green fishing boats.

During the day you can't tell there's people in the ocean down there, but at night time, there's lots of folks fishing.

You can see that.

I can see where I was born, Murphy's burrow looks like a little diamond below Nashville.

North of that, louisville, of course Indianapolis just beyond there.

Pittsburgh, and then looking to the left you can see the Great Lakes, and of course the cities of green bay, Chicago, you can see Cleveland evident, buffalo, and then further up the east coast, coming to Richmond, Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, long island sticks out, just absolutely gorgeous.

Boston, Cape Cod, very visible, just absolutely beautiful, and then of course the cities across the border, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec city.

Astronauts often remark that you don't see any national borders from space, but there are exceptions.

The strand of orange light dividing the view is the border separating Pakistan from India.

I wish that there weren't issues, but there are.

We have different ideals, and different mindsets, and it causes us to have the border.

That is sad.

The most noticeable border at night is between north and South Korea.

Seoul, South Korea is one of the brightest, most vibrant cities on the planet.

The whole south Korean country is lit up, and then there's this line in the border, and this complete darkness of North Korea, with a few little white lights where Pyongyang is, but there's a similar number of people on both sides of the border, and you can really see the difference between how people live.

By moonlight, the Gulf of Mexico and the great cities of Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.

The landscape around them is ablaze with thousands of oil and gas flares.

To meet our ever-increasing energy needs for the future, we'll have to develop new energy sources on a far larger scale, and one of them is our own sun.

As the space station crosses its face, from 250 miles below, you can see the solar panels that provide its power.

Here on earth, we must go beyond capturing the sun's rays and learn how to create energy the way the sun does, by nuclear fusion.

The challenge is to build a fusion reactor that will provide enough power for all our needs.

If you can figure out how to reproduce this you can create immense amounts of power and leave no pollution.

Our sun also bombards us with lethal radiation.

Without protection, most living creatures cannot survive it, but our earth has a magnetic field which deflects the harmful particles away from us.

The Aurora shows that shield in action.

Because we have this magical magnetic field protecting us, we have our forests, oceans, animals, and people.

It's why ours is a planet of life.

What struck me looking at earth from space is the fact that you can really perceive it visually as a spacecraft.

I've heard before about you know, spaceship earth, but when you are up there, you really cannot escape that notion.

It's totally obvious that it is a celestial body that is carrying all of us, all of humanity, all of life on earth on this journey through space, and just like the space station is, you know, a human made outpost there that allows us to survive in this hostile environment of space, well, you know, our earth does the same for all of us.

I can imagine of course a future in which human beings are able to travel to other star systems.

So I really hope that at some point there will be a breakthrough in science and technology that will allow us to travel faster than light and actually explore different star systems.

Don't you wonder sometimes?

Are there planets around other stars?

Could they have life?

Though, we can't yet travel to the stars ourselves, our telescopes can.

Astronomers have already discovered several thousand planets.

We're searching around stars for the perfect conditions, not too hot, not too cold, for liquid water to exist.

We call this the goldilocks zone.

We can detect a planet as it crosses in front of a star, blocking its light.

This is one system we found, kepler 186.

It's 500 light years from earth, and it contains a remarkable five earth sized planets.

Most important of all, the outermost planet, kepler 186f is just the right distance from its star for water, and life to exist.

Could this be another earth?

In the end, it's about two things.

It's about this great adventure of exploring, and then it's about how our world works, and expanding the possibilities of what we human beings can do.

And we can do great things together.

If we all do our part, for our children, and great grandchildren, our earth will always be a beautiful planet.

J hello world j it's nice to meet you j j I've been waiting for this moment to come my whole life &

j hello world j the past is over j j it's time for us to come together j j and make the future right & j I had an epiphany one night j j looking at the endless star filled sky j j the world is ours j

j the world is ours j

j seven billion stars j j we're all, we are j j we're all, we are j j we're all, we are j j we're all, we are j j we're all, we are j j the world is ours j j hello world j the sun is rising j j it doesn't matter who you are 7 j the sun still sets the same j j hello world j undivided j j don't matter if you win or lose j j it's how you play the game j the world is ours j