quotations about space travel and exploration
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
All civilizations become either spacefaring or extinct.
CARL SAGAN, Pale Blue Dot
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
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
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
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 Scifi.com, November 1, 1996
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
The stars will never be won by little minds; we must be big as space itself.
ROBERT A. HEINLEIN, Double Star
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
Our flight must be not only to the stars but into the nature of our own beings. Because it is not merely where we go, to Alpha Centauri or Betelgeuse, but what we are as we make our pilgrimage there. Our natures will be going there, too.
PHILIP K. DICK, "The Android and the Human"
We will never be able to build enough spaceships. The demand is enormous.
RICHARD BRANSON, "Demand for Space Travel Is Out of This World", Bloomberg, July 6, 2017
This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I'm stepping through the door
And I'm floating in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today
Am I sitting in a tin can
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there's nothing I can do
Though I'm past one hundred thousand miles
I'm feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much
DAVID BOWIE, "Space Oddity"
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
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
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.
HENRY JOY MCCRACKEN, LM, November 1997
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
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
Science is part of a larger human enterprise, and that enterprise includes going to the stars, adapting to other planets, adapting them to us.... The whole meaning of the universe, its beauty, is contained in the consciousness of intelligent life. We are the consciousness of the universe, and our job is to spread that around, to go look at things, to live everywhere we can.
KIM STANLEY ROBINSON, Red Mars
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