- We are not alone.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977 film): publicity for
- Beautiful! Beautiful! Magnificent desolation.
of the lunar landscape 1930– American astronaut: on the first moon walk, 20 July 1969
- We came in peace for all mankind.: on a plaque near the Sea of Tranquillity on the moon by the Apollo 11 expedition, 20–21 July 1969
- Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed.
radio message as the lunar module touched down, 20 July 1969
Times 21 July 1969 1930–2012 American astronaut: in
- That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.
landing on the moon
New York Times 21 July 1969; interference in the transmission obliterated ‘a’ 1930–2012 American astronaut: in
- Don't tell me that man doesn't belong out there. Man belongs wherever he wants to go—and he'll do plenty well when he gets there.
Time 17 February 1958 1912–77 German-born American rocket engineer: in
- The fancy that extraterrestrial life is by definition of a higher order than our own is one that soothes all children, and many writers.
The White Album (1979) 1934– American writer:
- But where is everybody?
on the existence of extra-terrestrials, known as the Fermi paradox
c.1950 1901–54 Italian-born American atomic physicist: attributed,
on Felix Bloch's stating that space was the field of linear operations:Nonsense. Space is blue and birds fly through it.
Physics Today December 1976 1901–76 German mathematical physicist: Felix Bloch ‘Heisenberg and the early days of quantum mechanics’ in
- Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away if your car could go straight upwards.
Observer 9 September 1979 ‘Sayings of the Week’ 1915–2001 English astrophysicist: in
- Damn the Solar System! bad light—planets too distant—pestered with comets—feeble contrivance; —could make a better with great ease.
Sydney Smith's ‘joke’ against Jeffrey on ‘the Moon and the Solar System’, usually quoted as by Jeffrey
Letters vol. 1 (1953) 1773–1850 Scottish critic: letter from Sydney Smith to Jeffrey, 25 February 1807, in Nowell C. Smith (ed.)
- Cosmologists are often in error, but never in doubt.
Big Bang (2004) 1908–68 Russian physicist: attributed in Simon Singh
- The eternal silence of these infinite spaces [the heavens] terrifies me.
Pensées (1670, ed. L. Brunschvicg, 1909) sect. 2, no. 206 1623–62 French mathematician, physicist, and moralist:
- Space is almost infinite. As a matter of fact, we think it is infinite.
Daily Telegraph 8 March 1989 1947– American Republican politician: in
- We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them this morning, as they prepared for the journey and waved goodbye and ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth’ to ‘touch the face of God.’
after the loss of the space shuttle Challenger with all its crew
Magee, Magee 1911–2004 American Republican statesman; 40th President 1981–9: broadcast from the Oval Office, 28 January 1986; see
- Mars has become a kind of mythic arena onto which we have projected our Earthly hopes and fears.
Cosmos (1980) ch. 5 1934–96 American scientist and writer:
- It's a very sobering feeling to be up in space and realize that one's safety factor was determined by the lowest bidder on a government contract. 1923–98 American astronaut: in 1961, attributed in various forms
- Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.
Calvin and Hobbes (comic strip) 8 November 1989 1958– American cartoonist: