21 Inspirational and Historic Space Quotes You Need to Know
We’ve picked out some of the most awe-inspiring and meaningful moments from the history of humanity’s journey into the unknown.
Ed White expresses his sorrow at the conclusion of the first American spacewalk during the Gemini 4 mission on 3 June 1965.
Yuri Gagarin shows how calm he was during the first manned space mission on 12 April 1961 in his response to ground control when asked how he was doing.
Neil Armstrong on looking back at the Earth from the Moon in July 1969.
Alan Shepard talking about his time on the lunar surface during the Apollo 14 mission in February 1971.
Carl Sagan in Time magazine, 9 January 1995, describing the Pale Blue Dot image of Earth (above), taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft 6 billion kilometres away in 1990.
Yang Liwei, China’s first astronaut (taikonaut), speaking in October 2003 on his inability to see The Great Wall of China from space, which has often been said to be visible.
Edgar Mitchel, Apollo 14 astronaut, speaking in People magazine on 8 April 1974.
A joke reportedly written on a wall in a hall at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, California, after losing contact with the Mars Polar Lander in December 1999.
The actual first words spoken from the surface of the Moon, by Buzz Aldrin on 20 July 1969 when Apollo 11 landed. Over six hours later, Neil Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface and uttered the immortal line “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind” (more on that later).
John Young, after being asked if he was nervous about making the first Space Shuttle flight in 1981.
FIRST SET FOOT UPON THE MOON
JULY 1969, A.D.
WE CAME IN PEACE FOR ALL MANKIND”
The words on a plaque left on the Moon by Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong.
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, speaking in May 2013 about the possibility of humans eventually settling on Mars.
A scientist at Jodrell Bank in the UK speaking in typically understated British fashion as they tracked Apollo 11’s descent to the Moon.
Buzz Aldrin, in his new book Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration (2013).
This quote is often attributed to NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz during the Apollo 13 rescue mission in April 1970, but he never actually said it.
Neil Armstrong in his 2006 official biography, First Man, on whether he said the ‘a’ or not in his famous quote from the lunar surface.
Bruce McCandless, speaking to All About Space in June 2012, on the subject of performing the furthest free-flying spacewalk in 1984.
Not everyone was interested in the first Moon landing. Famous artist Pablo Picasso, reacting to the successful Apollo 11 mission, was quoted as saying this in the New York Times in July 1969.
Apollo 13 command module pilot John Swigert’s transmission to mission control when one of the spacecraft’s oxygen tanks exploded on 13 April 1970.
The words spoken by engineer Steve Bales when an erroneous computer error put the descent of Apollo 11 in jeopardy. His quick realisation in just a few seconds that the problem was no cause for alarm, and that the mission could continue, saw him receive the NASA Group Achievement Award on behalf of the mission operations team.
A quote from Giuseppe Cocconi and Philip Morrison’s paper ‘Searching for Interstellar Communications’ that was published in September 1959, one of the first formal rational arguments supporting the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
Images courtesy of NASA
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