Welcome to SpaceQuotations.com: a cosmic collection of star gazing, rocket riding & moon walking space quotes
"If offered a seat on a rocket ship, don't ask what seat. Just get on."
— Christa McAuliffe, astronaut. She repeated this line several times on TV talk shows after been chosen as the first teacher in space, 1985. Said by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to be the best career advice she ever received (speech to the graduating class of Harvard Business School 2012 and her 2013 book Lean In), told to her (without the McAuliffe citation) by Eric Schmidt, Google's CEO, in 2001
"Mars has been flown by, orbited, smacked into, radar examined, and rocketed onto, as well as bounced upon, rolled over, shoveled, drilled into, baked and even blasted. Still to come: Mars being stepped on."
— Buzz Aldrin, in his new book Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration.
"This kid didn't give up. I've been waiting since '61 to get there, and I'm going."
— Wally Funk, denied a chance to fly into space at the time of the Mercury program because she's a woman, regards taking a ride on Virgin Galactic. Quoted in AdAstra magazine, Summer 2013.
It's a famous line, seen often online and in print. It's almost always in quotation marks, and it's almost always attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. But that is wrong. How could Leonardo (1452 - 1519) taste flight? I've searched for years, but have never found definitive source information for this line. National Geographic Magazine researchers told me they talked to a leading da Vinci expert who said Leonardo never wrote it. The 2007 book Leonardo on Flight by Domenico Laurenza never mentions the line. A whole chapter of the 2008 book Leonardo's Legacy by science writer Stefan Klein is devoted to da Vinci's dream of mechanical flight, yet it also never mentions the line. Rather, it concludes "after thirty years of tireless work, Leonardo's dream of flying had reverted to what it was in the first days of his research—a flight of the imagination" (page 126).
But this "quote" holds a strong appeal
to our psyche; maybe because many of us have our eyes, minds and
hearts turned upward to space. So it's my title here on the
internet. A place where astronomers and astronauts, dreamers and
doers, share with us their best
thoughts on space.
And the title is also a reminder to me to be as accurate as I can in
recording original source information.
+ Captain James T. Kirk (of the
Starship Enterprise) never said
Beam me up, Scotty
in the TV series or in any of the movies.
Want to delve deeper into longer works? Want to read more than a few sentences? There is a fantastic book in print that has reprints of 100 seminal original papers from the history of astronomy all introduced, arranged and edited perfectly: Archives of the Universe, by Marcia Bartusia.
— Arthur C Clarke, The View from Serendip, page 238, 1977.
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