Welcome to SpaceQuotations.com: a cosmic collection of star gazing, rocket riding & moon walking space quotes

Sun, Earth, Moon: NASA photograph from Apollo 12

Eyes Turned Skyward: Space Quotes



Astronomy & Cosmology  :  Predicting The Future  :  The Moon  :  The Sun  :  Mars  :  The Stars

Rocketry  :  Into Orbit  :  Apollo Moon Missions  :  Space Shuttle  :  Looking Back at Earth

SETI  :  UFOs  :  Wonder & Magic of Space  :  Space Colonization

Search the quote database

Contact me  :  Facebook Page  :  @SpaceQuotes  :  Google+

 

 

+

"We don’t ever want to go to war in space, but we need to be prepared to fight a war in that environment."

— General John E. Hyten, US Air Force Space Command. Speech at the Capitol Hill Club, 5 December 2014.

Space is hard - but worth it. We will persevere and move forward together."

— Richard Branson, tweet following the Virgin Galactic SpaceShip Two crash. 31 October 2014.

"That to me is a bunch of crap trying to shoot guys up into damned space. What they’re going to do is they’re going to wipe out half a dozen people one of these days, and that will be the end of it."

— Chuck Yeager, thoughts on Burt Rutan's private spacecraft, CNN interview 5 June 2012.

"Can I ask a question, too: aren’t you interested in the hair styles of my colleagues? My flight is my job. I feel a huge responsibility towards the people who taught and trained us and I want to tell them: we won’t let you down!"

— Yelena Serova, Russian Cosmonaut, replying to questions about her hair style and parenting her daughter right before leaving for the ISS. She launched in a Soyuz TMA-14M on 25 september 2014.


  Astronaut Bruce McCandless during his historic MMU EVA, NASA photograph


"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the Earth with your Eyes Turned Skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."

+

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.

I find it interesting that several other popular space quotes are also actually myths or misquotes:

+ Galileo Galilei did not mutter E pur si muove (and yet it moves) after recanting before the inquisition.

+ Neil Armstrong's That's one small step for [a] man; one giant leap for mankind line needs the a in parenthesis.

+ Apollo 13's Houston, we have a problem phrase was actually said in the past tense.

+ Flight Director Gene Kranz never said Failure is not an option.

+ Wernher von Braun never said I aim at the stars. But sometimes I hit London.

+ Peter Pan didn't say Second star on the right, and straight on till morning when the play was first performed.

+ Carl Sagan never said they were Billions and billions of stars or galaxies.

+ Konstantin E. Tsiokovsky didn't exactly say Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot live in a cradle forever.

+ 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.

+

"I'm sure we would not have had men on the Moon if it had not been for Wells and Verne and the people who write about this and made people think about it. I'm rather proud of the fact that I know several astronauts who became astronauts through reading my books."

— Arthur C Clarke, The View from Serendip, page 238, 1977.


Reading, dreaming and thinking about crazy space ideas has already resulted in us driving a car on the Moon and sending probes flying out of our Solar System. My hope is that this compendium of man's first-hand thoughts on the universe around us will inspire much more exploration and understanding. You are welcome to help, please email me or visit space quotes on facebook or the twitterverse with additions, corrections, original sources or any other thoughts. I hope you enjoy this collection, and walk the Earth with your mind and eyes turned skyward.

+

Search Quote Database  :  Facebook Page  :  @SpaceQuotes  :  Google+  :  Aviation Quotes  :  DaveEnglish.com  :  Dave  :  Contact Me  :  © 2008-2014

facebook    twitter