Great quotes

I cannot join the space program and restart my life as an astronaut, but this opportunity to connect my abilities as an educator with my interests in history and space is a unique opportunity to fulfill my early fantasies.

— Christa McAuliffe, teacher, from her winning essay in NASA’s nationwide search for the first teacher to travel in space, released after her death with six others aboard the space shuttle Challenger, January 28, 1986.

We risk great peril if we kill off this spirit of adventure, for we cannot predict how and in what seemingly unrelated fields it will manifest itself. A nation that loses its forward thrust is in danger, and one of the most effective ways to retain that thrust is to keep exploring possibilities. The sense of exploration is intimately bound up with human resolve, and for a nation to believe that it is still committed to a forward motion is to ensure its continuance.
– James A. Michener, author, 1979

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet and writer, cited in In the Shadow of the Moon

To go places and do things that have never been done before – that’s what living is all about.
— Michael Collins, flew on Gemini 10 and Apollo 11.

You’ve got to hand it to these guys (the Mercury Seven); they put their backsides on the line because it was such a new program – new everything – and they stepped up to the plate and did it. Those first seven led the way. They really are the true pioneers.
– Dee O’Hara, nurse to the Mercury astronauts

Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
— Captain James T. Kirk, start of every episode of the original TV series ‘Star Trek.’

To be the first to enter the cosmos, to engage, single-handed, in an unprecedented duel with nature—could one dream of anything more?
Yuri Gagarin, the first man to fly into space, prior to flight, 1961.

The path of a cosmonaut is not an easy, triumphant march to glory. You have to get to know the meaning not just of joy but also of grief, before being allowed in the spacecraft cabin.
Yuri Gagarin, the first man to fly into space

Spaceflights cannot be stopped. This is not the work of any one man or even a group of men. It is a historical process which mankind is carrying out in accordance with the natural laws of human development.
Yuri Gagarin, the first man to fly into space

God has no intention of setting a limit to the efforts of man to conquer space.
— Pope Pius XII

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Arthur C. Clarke, author, cited in Into that Silent Sea

Buy why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may as well ask why climb the highest mountain?
– President John F. Kennedy, May 1961

There can be no thought of finishing for ‘aiming for the stars.’ Both figuratively and literally, it is a task to last the generations. But no matter how much progress one makes, there is always the the thrill of just beginning.
Robert H. Goddard, successfully launched the world’s first liquid-filled rocket in 1926.

The dreams of yesterday are the hopes of today and the reality of tomorrow.
Robert H. Goddard, successfully launched the world’s first liquid-filled rocket in 1926.

The conquest of space is worth the risk of life.
Virgil I. Grissom, died with astronauts Chaffee and White on January 27, 1967 on the launch pad during a test.

As I stand out here in the wonders of the unknown at Hadley, I sort of realize there’s a fundamental truth to our nature, Man must explore . . . and this is exploration at its greatest.
Dave Scott, Commander Apollo 15, upon becoming the 7th man to walk on the Moon, 31 July 1971.

Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot live in the cradle forever.
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Russian scientist, one of the founding fathers of the modern rocket science; born in 1857.

Failure is not an option.
– Gene Kranz, spoken when he was fight director during the near-tragic incident of Apollo 13 mission.

NASA is not about the ‘Adventure of Human Space Exploration’…We won’t be doing it just to get out there in space – we’ll be doing it because the things we learn out there will be making life better for a lot of people who won’t be able to go.
– John Young, veteran of Gemini’s 3, 10; Apollo’s 10. Apollo 15; STS-1 and STS-9

There can be no thought of finishing for ‘aiming for the stars.’ Both figuratively and literally, it is a task to occupy the generations. And no matter how much progress one makes, there is always the thrill of just beginning.
Robert H. Goddard, successfully launched the world’s first liquid-filled rocket in 1926.

Dedication and commitment to yourself, your family, your country and your life’s goals is not to be taken lightly. They will ensure that you remain your own person and be the one who determines the path you will travel. You can be a leader or a follower in any field, anywhere. A leader sets his own pace and direction and attracts others to follow. A follower is merely one of the pack, doing what his “friends” do with little regard for how it will affect his life. Living for today, spending all you make and associating with the wrong crowd can get you into big trouble and strip you of the valuable rewards life has to offer.
– Walt Cunningham, lunar module pilot, Apollo 7

It [the rocket] will free man from his remaining chains, the chains of gravity which still tie him to this planet. It will open to him the gates of heaven.
Wernher von Braun, a leading German scientist for Hitler, Von Braun became a leader figure n the United States’ space program.

When I orbited the Earth in a spaceship, I saw for the first time how beautiful our planet is. Mankind, let us preserve and increase this beauty, and not destroy it!
Yuri Gagarin, the first man to fly into space

Astronomy compels the soul to look upward, and leads us from this world to another.
— Plato, ‘The Republic,’ 342 B.C.

It’s human nature to stretch, to go, to see, to understand. Exploration is not a choice, really; it’s an imperative.
— Michael Collins, flew on Gemini 10 and Apollo 11.

The regret on our side is, they used to say years ago, we are reading about you in science class. Now they say, we are reading about you in history class.
Neil Armstrong, July 1999, Gemini 8 and Apollo 12; first man to ever walk on the moon.

Many say exploration is part of our destiny, but it’s actually our duty to future generations and their quest to ensure the survival of the human species.
Buzz Aldrin, on the 37th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Landing, July 2006

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the the universe.
— Albert Einstein, great German-American scientist, inventor and thinker.

Knowing what we know now, we are being irresponsible in our failure to make the scientific and technical progress we will need for protecting our newly discovered severely threatened and probably endangered species–us. NASA is not about the ‘Adventure of Human Space Exploration,’ we are in the deadly serious business of saving the species. All Human Exploration’s bottom line is about preserving our species over the long haul.
– Astronaut John Young,”The Big Picture”, veteran of Gemini’s 3, 10; Apollo’s 10 and 15; STS-1 and STS-9

In spite of the opinions of certain narrow-minded people, who would shut up the human race upon this globe, as within some magic circle which it must never outstep, we shall one day travel to the moon, the planets, and the stars, with the same facility, rapidity, and certainty as we now make the voyage from Liverpool to New York.
– Jules Verne, From the Earth to the Moon, 1865

This is the goal: To make available for life every place where life is possible. To make inhabitable all worlds as yet uninhabitable, and all life purposeful.
Hermann Oberth, Man Into Space, 1957, great physicist, one of the founding fathers of modern rocket science.

Teach me your mood,
O patient stars.
Who climb each night,
the ancient sky.
leaving on space no shade, no scars,
no trace of age, no fear to die.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, ‘The Poet.’

The greatest gain from space travel consists in the extension of our knowledge. In a hundred years this newly won knowledge will pay huge and unexpected dividends.
Wernher von Braun, a leading German scientist for Hitler, Von Braun became a leader figure n the United States’ space program.

Space is the stature of God.
— Joseph Joubert, French essayist, moralist. Pens_es, no. 183, 1842.

The world itself looks cleaner and so much more beautiful. Maybe we can make it that way—the way God intended it to be—by giving everybody that new perspective from out in space.
— Roger B Chaffee, one of three U.S. astronauts who died in the Apollo 1 test launch, January 27, 1967

Those who study the stars have God for a teacher.
— Tycho Brahe, 17th century Danish astronomer

What was most significant about the lunar voyage was not that man set foot on the Moon but that they set eye on the earth.
— Norman Cousins, journalist and author

I have a hunch the most important reason we’re going to space is not known now.
— Burt Rutan, ‘Time’ 5 March 2007, American aerospace engineer, his plane design was the first to fly around the world non-stop.

It is humanities destiny to explore the universe. When we start thinking and working on that cosmic level, we will transcend our parochial differences and tribal natures and become global creatures, solar system creatures. Then we will figure out where we fit in.
— Story Musgrave, veteran of six shuttle missions.

The inspirational value of the space program is probably of far greater importance to education than any input of dollars….A whole generation is growing up which has been attracted to the hard disciplines of science and engineering by the romance of space.
Arthur C. Clarke, ‘First on the Moon,’ 1970.

We want to explore. We’re curious people. Look back over history, people have put their lives at stake to go out and explore … We believe in what we’re doing. Now it’s time to go.
Eileen Collins, STS-114 commander, a few days before the re-launch of the Space Shuttle program, reported on Space.com, 11 July 2005. First woman commander of a space mission.

As we got further and further away, it [the Earth] diminished in size. Finally it shrank to the size of a marble, the most beautiful you can imagine. That beautiful, warm, living object looked so fragile, so delicate, that if you touched it with a finger it would crumble and fall apart. Seeing this has to change a man.
— James B. Irwin, Apollo 15.

 


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