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Who said: “Politics is more difficult than physics.”
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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index S > Category: Spaceship

Spaceship Quotes (5 quotes)

[What verdict would a historian of the year 3000 pass upon our age? Let us hope this will be his judgement:]
“The twentieth century was, without question, the most momentous hundred years in the history of Mankind. It opened with the conquest of the air, and before it had run half its course had presented civilisation with its supreme challenge—the control of atomic energy. Yet even these events, each of which changed the world, were soon to be eclipsed. To us a thousand years later, the whole story of Mankind before the twentieth century seems like the prelude to some great drama, played on the narrow strip of stage before the curtain has risen and revealed the scenery. For countless generations of men, that tiny, crowded stage—the planet Earth—was the whole of creation, and they the only actors. Yet towards the close of that fabulous century, the curtain began slowly, inexorably to rise, and Man realised at last that the Earth was only one of many worlds; the Sun only one among many stars. The coming of the rocket brought to an end a million years of isolation. With the landing of the first spaceship on Mars and Venus, the childhood of our race was over and history as we know it began….”
In Chap. 18, 'Concerning Means and Ends', The Exploration of Space (1951), 195. [Clarke wrote this, not knowing there would be a Moon landing just 18 years later, on 20 Jul 1969. In fact, in an earlier chapter, he wrote “On our present knowledge, there is no likelihood of such spaceships for a very long time to come.” —Webmaster]
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Hogwash! … On our way to the moon, and on the moon, I worked as hard as John Young and it took me another six years before I found out the truth about God. In the days of Apollo and long afterwards I still believed in the theory of evolution and rejected the Biblical creation story. [Commenting on an American reporter’s printed intimation that Lunar Module pilots “had less things to do and had time to look out the spaceship’s window, or to explore the surroundings. Afterwards they could not cope with what they had seen, felt and experienced.”]
As quoted in Colin Burgess, Footprints in the Dust: The Epic Voyages of Apollo, 1969-1975 (2010), 422. Burgess introduced the quote with: “Charles Moss Duke Jr. has always been wrongly labeled as the astronaut who found God during his Apollo 16 mission, but even though he did eventually become a born-again Christian, this life-altering epiphany came some years after the event.” Burgess explained that Duke dislikes “misinformed characterizations of himself and his Apollo colleagues and of the religious impact of his own lunar mission.” [The ellipsis in the subject quote spans from one paragraph to the next in Burgess’ book. The ellipsis was added by Webmaster, on the assumption that the word “Hogwash!” belongs with the statement in the following paragraph.]
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If we consider our earth as a spaceship and the earthly astronauts as the crew of that spaceship, I would say wars can be analogous to mutinies aboard the ship.
From Testimony to Third Plenary Session (28 Jan 1971). In Panel on Science and Technology, Twelfth Meeting, International Science Policy, Proceedings before the Committee on Science and Astronautics, U.S. House of Representatives, Jan. 26, 27, and 28, 1971. No. 1 (1971), 330.
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What does it mean for a civilisation to be a million years old? We have had radio telescopes and spaceships for a few decades; our technical civilisation is a few hundred years old … an advanced civilisation millions of years old is as much beyond us as we are beyond a bushbaby or a macaque
'Star Makers', Cosmos (Feb 2006).
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When I orbited the Earth in a spaceship, I saw for the first time how beautiful our planet is. Mankind, let us preserve and increase this beauty, and not destroy it!
…...
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Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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