quotations about space travel and exploration

Space Travel quote

The Earth is the cradle of humanity, but mankind cannot stay in the cradle forever.

KONSTANTIN TSIOLKOVSKY, attributed, Final Frontier: The Pioneering Science and Technology of Exploring the Universe


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Space is for everybody. It's not just for a few people in science or math, or for a select group of astronauts. That's our new frontier out there, and it's everybody's business to know about space.

CHRISTA MCAULIFFE, December 6, 1985


All civilizations become either spacefaring or extinct.

CARL SAGAN, Pale Blue Dot


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Those who came before us made certain that this country rode the first waves of the industrial revolutions, the first waves of modern invention, and the first wave of nuclear power, and this generation does not intend to founder in the backwash of the coming age of space. We mean to be a part of it--we mean to lead it. For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace. We have vowed that we shall not see space filled with weapons of mass destruction, but with instruments of knowledge and understanding.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, speech at Rice University, September 12, 1962


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Some say that we should stop exploring space, that the cost in human lives is too great. But Columbia's crew would not have wanted that. We are a curious species, always wanting to know what is over the next hill, around the next corner, on the next island. And we have been that way for thousands of years.

STUART ATKINSON, New Mars, March 7, 2003


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I'm sure the universe is full of intelligent life. It's just been too intelligent to come here.

ARTHUR C. CLARKE, IRC discussion at, November 1, 1996


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A man who has been in another world does not come back unchanged. One can't put the difference into words. When the man is a friend it may become painful: the old footing is not easy to recover.

C. S. LEWIS, Perelandra


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The time will come when man will know even what is going on in the other planets and perhaps be able to visit them.

HENRY FORD, Theosophist Magazine, February 1930


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I believe that space travel will one day become as common as airline travel is today. I'm convinced, however, that the true future of space travel does not lie with government agencies -- NASA is still obsessed with the idea that the primary purpose of the space program is science -- but real progress will come from private companies competing to provide the ultimate adventure ride, and NASA will receive the trickle-down benefits.

BUZZ ALDRIN, Magnificent Desolation


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To venture into space we must be strong-willed and determined. We must be fully committed to its exploration and discovery; space permits no half measures and is unforgiving of mistakes.



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I don't think the human race will survive the next thousand years, unless we spread into space. There are too many accidents that can befall life on a single planet. But I'm an optimist. We will reach out to the stars.

STEPHEN HAWKING, The Daily Telegraph, October 16, 2001


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Mankind is drawn to the heavens for the same reason we were once drawn into unknown lands and across the open sea. We choose to explore space because doing so improves our lives, and lifts our national spirit. So let us continue the journey.

GEORGE W. BUSH, speech at NASA Headquarters, January 14, 2004


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Robots going places is not as exciting as humans going places. The only people clamouring for space launches to Mars to recover the wandering robot skateboard currently stuck in a sandtrap there are, well, the people who want to make it their android whore. And when your Martian explorer is not exploring any more because it's stuck in a sandtrap, it means you've sent a skateboard to do the job of a human.

WARREN ELLIS, "Warren Ellis: On Space Travel", Wired, May 2001


The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join in it or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in the race for space.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, speech at Rice University, September 12, 1962


I think commercial space travel is critical. We're not really going to do much in space at all until the price to low-Earth orbit gets driven down. Right now it's just so damn expensive, there's no economic incentive to go into space. So any missions are just governments spending money they're not going to recoup. But if you can drive down the price, then there will be a commercial space enterprise and economics will see to it from there. If you can imagine a scenario where, for $50,000 you can go into space and spend a week on a space hotel, like a space station. And the whole process were as safe for you as international [air] travel is today. I think people would be lining up to do that. There would be infinite demand.

ANDY WEIR, "The Martian author Andy Weir: Private space travel is critical", engadget, September 30, 2015


The second best thing about space travel is that the distances involved make war very difficult, usually impractical, and almost always unnecessary. This is probably a loss for most people, since war is our race's most popular diversion, one which gives purpose and color to dull and stupid lives. But it is a great boon to the intelligent man who fights only when he must--never for sport.

ROBERT A. HEINLEIN, Time Enough For Love


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Imagine we could accelerate continuously at 1 g -- what we're comfortable with on good old terra firma -- to the midpoint of our voyage, and decelerate continuously at 1 g until we arrive at our destination. It would take a day to get to Mars, a week and a half to Pluto, a year to the Oort Cloud, and a few years to the nearest stars.

CARL SAGAN, Pale Blue Dot


As long as we are a single-planet species, we are vulnerable to extinction by a planetwide catastrophe, natural or self-induced. Once we become a multiplanet species, our chances to live long and prosper will take a huge leap skyward.

DAVID GRINSPOON, Slate, January 7, 2004


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Space travel is life-enhancing, and anything that's life-enhancing is worth doing. It makes you want to live forever.

RAY BRADBURY, Playboy, 1996


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We cannot predict the new forces, powers, and discoveries that will be disclosed to us when we reach the other planets and set up new laboratories in space. They are as much beyond our vision today as fire or electricity would be beyond the imagination of a fish.

ARTHUR C. CLARKE, "Space and the Spirit of Man"