Sunday, February 13, 2011

What They Said

This is why it matters:

"When you advance frontiers, heroes are made." ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

"There are four women in space right now ... 20 years ago that would've only been possible in a porn movie. Now it's science." ~ Tiny Fey on SNL News

"It matters to me. People don't get in line to get autographs of the land rover." ~ Congressman Frank Wolf, in response to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden's statement that it "didn't matter" if America or China got a manned mission to the moon.

"All civilizations become either spacefaring or extinct." ~ Carl Sagan

"Every civilization [in the universe] must go through this [a nuclear crisis]. Those that don't make it destroy themselves. Those that do make it end up cavorting all over the universe."
Physicist Ted Taylor, quoted by John McPhee in
The Curve of Binding Energy, 1974

"War and space exploration are alternative uses of the assertive, exploratory energies that are so characteristic of human beings. They may also be mutually exclusive because if one occurs on a massive scale, the other probably will not."
Frank White, The Overview Effect, 1981

"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." ~ Author Douglas Adams

"Life, for ever dying to be born afresh, for ever young and eager, will presently stand upon this earth as upon a footstool, and stretch out its realm amidst the stars."
H. G. Wells, The Outline of History, 1920

"The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn't have a space program. And if we become extinct because we don't have a space program, it'll serve us right!"
Larry Niven, quoted by Arthur Clarke in interview
at, 2001

"Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another." ~ Plato

"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

"Our two greatest problems are gravity and paperwork. We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming." ~ Werner von Braun

"It's human nature to stretch, to go, to see, to understand. Exploration is not a choice really: it's an imperative." ~ Astronaut Michael Collins

"We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the universe. That makes us something very special." ~ Stephen Hawking

"Every so often, I like to stick my head out the window, look up, and smile for a satellite picture." ~ Comedian Steven Wright

"The Earth is just too small and fragile a basket for the human race to keep all its eggs in."
Robert Heinlein, speech