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By Dan P. Lee, originally published in the September 30, 2013 issue of New York Magazine.
Against a black screen, these words appear first.
“At 600 km above planet Earth, the temperature fluctuates between +258 and -148 degrees Fahrenheit. There is nothing to carry sound. No air pressure. No oxygen. Life in space is impossible.”
The screen disappears.The planet—this planet, in three dimensions—appears.
Its arc engulfs you, outstretching in front, beside, and, somehow, below you. It is massive. Silently, majestically, cloud-covered and multicolored, it spins. There is the immediate sensation of everything—Earth, you—floating.