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For NASA space is still a high priority. Dan Quayle
Bush planners extended Clinton’s doctrine of control of space for military purposes to ownership of space which may mean instant engagement anywhere in the world. Noam Chomsky, Failed States audio
Space everywhere. Gary Neville, commentary Manchester City v Manchester United 2012
What is there in places empty of matter? and Whence is it that the sun and planets gravitate toward one another without dense matter between them? Whence is it that Nature doth nothing in vain? and Whence arises all that order and beauty which we see in the world? To what end are comets? and Whence is it that planets move all one and the same way in orbs concentrick, while comets move all manner of ways in orbs very excentrick? and What hinders the fixed stars from falling upon one another? Isaac Newton, Opticks, Query XXVIII
Just remember that you’re standing on a planet that’s revolving, and revolving at nine hundred miles an hour. It’s orbiting at ninety miles a second, so it’s reckoned, the sun that is the source of all our power. The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see are moving at a million miles a day. In an outer spiral arm at forty thousand miles an hour in a galaxy we call the Milky Way.
Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars. It’s a hundred thousand light years side to side. It bulges in the middle sixteen thousand light years thick. And out by us it’s just three thousand light years wide. We’re thirty thousand light years from galactic central point. We got round every two hundred million years. And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions in this amazing and expanding universe. The universe itself keeps expanding and expanding in all the directions it can whiz. As fast as it can go the speed of light you know twelve million miles a minutes and that’s the fastest speed there is. So remember when you’re feeling very small and insecure how amazing and unlikely is your birth. And pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere up in space. Cause there’s bugger all down here on Earth. Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life 1983, song & dance routine
Here’s what we can do to change the world right now to a better ride: take all of that money we spend on weapons and defence each year and instead spend it feeding, clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would many times over, and not one human being excluded, and we can explore space together, both inner and outer, in peace. I believe that God left certain drugs growing naturally upon our planet to help speed up and facilitate our evolution. Bill Hicks, Revelations, Dominion Theatre, London
Why cannot we behold all things in space? Because there is a curtain dropped, which makes them out of sight to us. Why cannot we behold the inhabitants in Kolob, or the inhabitants in any of those distant planets? For the same reason; because there is a curtain dropped that interrupts our vision. So it is, something intervenes between us and them, which we cannot penetrate. We are short sighted, and deprived of the knowledge which we might have. I might say this is right, without offering any explanation. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses I:351
We will never get a man into space. This earth is man’s sphere and it was never intended that he should get away from it. The moon is a superior planet to the earth and it was never intended that man should go there. You can write it down in your books that this will never happen. Joseph Fielding Smith, stake conference Honolulu 14th May 1961
With the space race, science had acquired an air of glamour: inspiring a new generation of scientists. Beautiful Minds: Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, BBC 2010
Space, says the Introduction to the Hichhiker’s Guide, is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly hugely mind-bogglingly big it is. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy 2005 starring Martin Freeman & Sam Rockwell & Mos Def & Zooey Deschanel & Bill Nighy & Warwick Davis & Anna Chanccellor & John Malkovich & Kelly Macdonald et al, director Garth Jennings; see also novel Douglas Adams
The infinite improbability drive is a wonderful new method of crossing inter-stellar distances in a few seconds. ibid.
The universe is a pretty big space. It’s bigger than anything anyone has ever dreamed of before. So, if it’s just us, seems like an awful waste of space, right? Carl Sagan
They found that the galaxies were flying away from one another. To the entire astonishment of everyone the universe was expanding. We had begun to plumb the true depths of Time and Space. Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan, Cosmos: The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean, PBS 1980
By looking far out into space we are also looking far back into time, back toward the horizon of the universe, back toward the epoch of the Big Bang. Carl Sagan, Cosmos
At the very moment that humans discovered the scale of the universe and found that their most unconstrained fancies were in fact dwarfed by the true dimensions of even the Milky Way Galaxy, they took steps that ensured that their descendants would be unable to see the stars at all. For a million years humans had grown up with a personal daily knowledge of the vault of heaven. In the last few thousand years they began building and emigrating to the cities. In the last few decades, a major fraction of the human population has abandoned a rustic way of life. As technology developed and the cities were polluted, the nights became starless. New generations grew to maturity wholly ignorant of the sky that had transfixed their ancestors and that had stimulated the modern age of science and technology. Without even noticing, just as astronomy entered a golden age most people cut themselves off from the sky, a cosmic isolationism that ended only with the dawn of space exploration. Carl Sagan, Contact
There are billions of stars therefore trillions of planets. Carl Sagan
There is perhaps no better a demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. Carl Sagan, Time magazine 9 January 1995, re Pale Blue Dot image of Earth taken by Voyager 1 spacecraft 6 billion kilometres away 1990
In all our searching the only thing we’ve found that makes the emptiness bearable is each other. Carl Sagan
Space and Energy were spontaneously created in an event we now call the Big Bang. Stephen Hawking, Did God Create the Universe? 2011
So where is all this negative energy today? ... It’s in space. ibid.
Gravity is the warping of space/time. Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design: The Key to the Cosmos, Discovery 2012
If the human race is to continue for another million years we will have to boldly go where no-one has gone before. Spreading out into space will completely change the future of the human race and maybe determine whether we have any future at all. We could have a base on the Moon within thirty years and reach Mars in fifty years, and explore the moons of the outer planets in two-hundred years. Stephen Hawking
The commercialisation of space travel comes at a critical time. Brave New World with Stephen Hawking II: Technology, Channel 4 2011
Unable to dock properly with Solar Max, Nelson tried instead to stop the satellite spinning with his hands. Nelson’s efforts had only made Solar Max to tumble faster, and for a while the mission seemed a failure. Happily though those on the ground managed to slow the spinning satellite. Horizon: Beyond the Moon, BBC 1984
The Hubble Space Telescope will see much further into the universe than has ever been possible before. Freed from the obscuring effects of the atmosphere the optical system at the heart of the spacecraft will enable the telescope’s mirror to resolve details ten times better than any instrument on the ground. When it’s installed in the space telescope this mirror is set to revolutionise our vision of the universe. ibid.