Science 5x52’ 120’

Spaceship Earth

The idea that Earth is an isolated spaceship was born in the 1960s, championed by futurist Buckminster Fuller and proven by the famous "Earth rise" photo taken by Apollo astronauts. "Spaceship Earth" is both a reality and a metaphor that changed humanity’s perspective, spawning the movement to "save the Earth". But what does that really mean?

For 50 years scientists have been working to understand humanity’s daily influence on our planet’s life forces. Spaceship Earth explores, with both a scientific and poetic approach, what they have learned, and what that tells us about our responsibility for steering the only ship in the universe known to carry life. Over five episodes, the series tells the story of humanity’s discovery, domination and ruination of our home — and of the birth of the monumental 21st century effort to redirect the ship.

Filmed in Japan, Canada, Germany, Brazil, Iceland, the USA, Mali and several other countries, Spaceship Earth features the thoughts of some of the world’s most prominent thinkers, including physicists Hans Joachim Schellenhuber and Takafumi Matsui, astronaut Ulf Merbold, anthropologist Jared Diamond, geologist David Hughes and energy analyst Daniel Yergin… as well as a host of average people who are suffering the degradation of our ship and working to transform it.

Episode 1: The Fuel

Episode 2: The Navigators

Episode 3: The Engine

Episode 4: The Passengers

Episode 5: The Flight Crew

Direction: Kevin McMahon

Production: NHK & Primitive Entertainment for Alliant Atlantis and ARTE


Grand Prix "The Tree Of Knowledge" at The International Science Film Festival World of Knowledge in St Petersburg

Languages: English

awards & festivals

  • The International Science Film Festival World of Knowledge in St Petersburg

    Grand Prix

see also