Space Program Quotes

Quotes tagged as "space-program" Showing 1-14 of 14
Warren Ellis
“The single simplest reason why human space flight is necessary is this, stated as plainly as possible: keeping all your breeding pairs in one place is a retarded way to run a species.”
Warren Ellis

Roman Payne
“Ah, youth!
It was a beautiful night...
The moon was out of orbit.
The stars were awry.
But everything else was exactly
as it should have been.”
Roman Payne

George Alec Effinger
“Just because your electronics are better than ours, you aren't necessarily superior in any way. Look, imagine that you humans are a man in LA with a brand-new Trujillo and we are a nuhp in New York with a beat-up old Ford. The two fellows start driving toward St. Louis. Now, the guy in the Trujillo is doing 120 on the interstates, and the guy in the Ford is putting along at 55; but the human in the Trujillo stops in Vegas and puts all of his gas money down the hole of a blackjack table, and the determined little nuhp cruises along for days until at last he reaches his goal. It's all a matter of superior intellect and the will to succeed.

Your people talk a lot about going to the stars, but you just keep putting your money into other projects, like war and popular music and international athletic events and resurrecting the fashions of previous decades. If you wanted to go into space, you would have.”
George Alec Effinger, Live! from Planet Earth

Andy Weir
“With today's work, I'm about one-fourth of the way through the whole cut. At least, one-fourth of the way through the drilling. Then I'll have 759 little chunks to chisel out. And I'm not sure how well carbon composite is going to take that. But NASA'll do it a thousand times back on Earth and tell me the best way to get it done.”
Andy Weir, The Martian

Edward O. Wilson
“Another principle that I believe can be justified by scientific evidence so far is that nobody is going to emigrate from this planet not ever....It will be far cheaper, and entail no risk to human life, to explore space with robots. The technology is already well along....the real thrill will be in learning in detail what is out there...It is an especially dangerous delusion if we see emigration into space as a solution to be taken when we have used up this planet....Earth, by the twenty-second century, can be turned, if we so wish, into a permanent paradise for human beings...”
Edward O. Wilson, The social conquest of Earth

Steven Magee
“The moon is considered a relatively easy object to land humans on, everything else is much harder by orders of magnitude. It is the reason why we have not been to Mars and will likely never go there successfully with humans.”
Steven Magee

Margaret Lazarus Dean
“Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in Russia, Hermann Olberth in Germany, and Robert Goddard in the United States all came up with an eerily similar concept for using liquid fuel to power rockets for human spaceflight. I've seen this pointed out as an odd coincidence, one of those moments when an idea inexplicably emerges in multiple places at once. But when I read through each of these three men's biographies I discovered why they all had the same idea: all three of them were obsessed with Jules Verne's 1865 novel "De la terre a la lune (From the Earth to the Moon)." The novel details the strange adventures of three space explorers who travel to the moon together. What sets Verne's book apart from the other speculative fiction of the time was his careful attention to the physics involved in space travel -- his characters take pains to explain to each other exactly how and why each concept would work. All three real-life scientists -- the Russian, the German, and the American -- were following what they had learned from a French science fiction writer.”
Margaret Lazarus Dean, Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Spaceflight

Margaret Lazarus Dean
“Here is one way to conceptualize NASA's heroic era: in 1961, Kennedy gave his "moon speech" to Congress, charging them to put an American on the moon "before the decade is out." In the eight years that unspooled between Kennedy's speech and Neil Armstrong's first historic bootprint, NASA, a newborn government agency, established sites and campuses in Texas, Florida, Alabama, California, Ohio, Maryland, Mississippi, Virginia, and the District of Columbia; awarded multi-million-dollar contracts and hired four hundred thousand workers; built a fully functioning moon port in a formerly uninhabited swamp; designed and constructed a moonfaring rocket, spacecraft, lunar lander, and space suits; sent astronauts repeatedly into orbit, where they ventured out of their spacecraft on umbilical tethers and practiced rendezvous techniques; sent astronauts to orbit the moon, where they mapped out the best landing sites; all culminating in the final, triumphant moment when they sent Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to step out of their lunar module and bounce about on the moon, perfectly safe within their space suits. All of this, start to finish, was accomplished in those eight years.”
Margaret Lazarus Dean, Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Spaceflight

Steven Magee
“We are in the process of finding out what filling the sky with hundreds of thousands of satellites does to all life on Earth.”
Steven Magee

Margaret Lazarus Dean
“Together the five orbiters Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour have flown a total of 133 successful missions, an unequaled accomplishment of engineering, management, and political savvy. But it's the two disasters that people remember, that most shape the shuttle's story. The lovely dream of spaceflight I grew up with is marred by the images of Challenger and Columbia breaking apart in the sky, the lost astronauts smiling on hopefully in their portraits, oblivious. Some people took the disasters to mean the entire space program had been a lie, that the dream itself was tainted with our fallibility. But even as a child, I knew it was more complex than that. If we want to see people take risks, we have to be prepared to sometimes see them fail. The story of American spaceflight is a story with many endings, a story of how we have weighed our achievements against our failures.”
Margaret Lazarus Dean, Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Spaceflight

Margaret Lazarus Dean
“Histories of the Kennedy Space Center acknowledge without exaggeration that the obstacle posed by the mosquitoes was so serious that NASA quite literally could not have put a man on the moon by Kennedy's "before the decade is out" deadline without the invention of DDT. In this way, the challenges of spaceflight reveal themselves to be distinctly terrestrial.”
Margaret Lazarus Dean, Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Spaceflight

Margaret Lazarus Dean
“If someone asked me to sum up what is great about my country, I would probably tell them about Apollo 11, about the four hundred thousand people who worked to make the impossible come true within eight years, about how it changed me to see the space-scarred Columbia capsule in a museum as a child, about how we came in peace for all mankind.”
Margaret Lazarus Dean, Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Spaceflight

Margaret Lazarus Dean
“Discovery first flew in 1984, the third orbiter to join the fleet. It was named for one of the ships commanded by Captain James Cook. Space shuttle Discovery is the most-flown orbiter; today will be its thirty-ninth and final launch. By the end of this mission, it will have flown a total of 365 days in space, making it the most well traveled spacecraft in history. Discovery was the first orbiter to carry a Russian cosmonaut and the first to visit the Russian space station Mir. On that flight, in 1995, Eileen Collins became the first woman to pilot an American spacecraft. Discovery flew twelve of the thirty-eight missions to assemble the International Space Station, and it was responsible for deploying the Hubble Space Telescope in 1990. This was perhaps the most far reaching accomplishment of the shuttle program, as Hubble has been called the most important telescope in history and one of the most significant scientific instruments ever invented. It has allowed astronomers to determine the age of the universe, postulate how galaxies form, and confirm the existence of dark energy, among many other discoveries. Astronomers and astrophysicists, when they are asked about the significance of Hubble, will simply say that it has rewritten the astronomy books. In the retirement process, Discovery will be the “vehicle of record,” being kept as intact as possible for future study.

Discovery was the return-to-flight orbiter after the loss of Challenger and then again after the loss of Columbia. To me, this gives it a certain feeling of bravery and hope. ‘Don’t worry,’ Discovery seemed to tell us by gamely rolling her snow-white self out to the launchpad. 'Don’t worry, we can still dream of space. We can still leave the earth.’ And then she did.”
Margaret Lazarus Dean, Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Spaceflight

James Mahaffey
“The Soviets were worried that the Americans would attack their "sparkling new Mir space station, ... in a space shuttle, throw out grappling hooks, forcibly board the peaceful habitat and claim it as captured territory. To the hard-core Soviet mind-set, the American government was an unstable combination of cowboys and gangsters, unpredictable and capable of any insane action. The cosmonauts would have to be armed against outrageous aggression.”
James Mahaffey, Atomic Adventures: Secret Islands, Forgotten N-Rays, and Isotopic Murder