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  • Sharon Hagle

What is the "Overview Effect"?

Space Tourism Conference 2023

On April 28 I joined over 300 space industry innovators for the Space Tourism Conference in Los Angeles. Leaders from aerospace, media, entertainment, architecture, design, marketing, manufacturing and the arts convened for a one day session of inspiring conversations about the future of space tourism and how all of us can participate.

The April 28 conference date was deliberately chosen to honor the anniversary of Dennis Tito’s historic lift-off in 2001 as the world’s first private space tourist. Tito’s flight jump-started the space tourism industry, generating massive consumer awareness of the possibilities of private space travel.

I participated in a fireside chat with Frank White, author of the book The Overview Effect. Later that evening Frank was honored with the Inspiration Award and received a standing ovation for his lifelong inspirational contributions a space philosopher.

More than three decades ago, Frank coined the term “Overview Effect” to describe the cognitive shift that results when viewing the Earth from space and in space, from orbit or on a lunar mission. He found that this experience profoundly affects space travelers’ worldviews—their perceptions of themselves, our planet, and our understanding of the future.

The afternoon session included a panel discussion with the theme Sports & Fun: Playful Activities & Edutainment in Zero-G. Our group discussed new ideas to engage the next generation of space travelers through interactive edutainment experiences.

To learn more about the 2023 Space Tourism Conference, visit:


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