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The rocket had worked perfectly, and all I had to do
by Alan Shepard

The rocket had worked perfectly, and all I had to do
was survive the reentry forces.
You do it all, in a flight like that,
in a rather short period of time, just 16 minutes as a matter of fact.
- Alan Shepard

They say any landing you can walk away from is a good one.
- Alan Shepard

Later, in the early teens, I used to ride my bike every
Saturday morning to the nearest airport,
ten miles away, push airplanes in and out of the hangars,
and clean up the hangars.
- Alan Shepard

You know, being a test pilot isn't always the healthiest business in the world.
- Alan Shepard

 

Of course I was delighted the flight was over,
but I still had to worry about cleaning up inside the cabin,
I had to worry about the hatch, how to get in the sling,
and so on.
- Alan Shepard

Of course, in our grade school, in those days,
there were no organized sports at all.
We just went out and ran around the school yard for recess.
- Alan Shepard

The first plane ride was in a homemade glider my buddy and I built.
Unfortunately we didn't get more than four feet off the ground,
because it crashed.
- Alan Shepard

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Obviously I was challenged by becoming a Naval aviator,
by landing aboard aircraft carriers and so on.
- Alan Shepard

I must admit, maybe I am a piece of history after all.
- Alan Shepard

I didn't mind studying.
Obviously math and the physical science subjects interested
me more than some of the more artistic subjects,
but I think I was a pretty good student.
- Alan Shepard

I'd like to say I was smart enough to finish six grades in five years,
but I think perhaps the teacher was just glad to get rid of me.
- Alan Shepard

I think the sense of family and family achievement,
plus the discipline which I received there from that
one-room school were really very helpful in what I did later on.
- Alan Shepard

It's been a long way, but we're here.
- Alan Shepard

You may not have any extra talent, but maybe you are
just paying more attention to what you are doing.
- Alan Shepard

The excitement really didn't start to build until the trailer -
which was carrying me,
with a space suit with ventilation and all that sort of stuff -
pulled up to the launch pad.
- Alan Shepard

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.
- Alan Shepard

We also knew it would be difficult, because of the
financial condition of the family,
for me to go to college.
- Alan Shepard

I think all of us certainly believed the statistics
which said that probably 88% chance of mission success
and maybe 96% chance of survival.
And we were willing to take those odds.
- Alan Shepard

The pilot looked at his cues of attitude and speed
and orientation and so on and responded as he would
from the same cues in an airplane,
but there was no way it flew the same.
The simulators had showed us that.
- Alan Shepard

But when I was selected, after my very first tour of squadron duty,
to become one of the youngest candidates for the test pilot school,
I began to realize, maybe you are a little bit better.
- Alan Shepard

You've done it in the simulator so many times,
you don't have a real sense of being excited when the flight is going on.
You're excited before, but as soon as the liftoff occurs,
you are busy doing what you have to do.
- Alan Shepard

You have to be there not for the fame and glory and
recognition and being a page in a history book,
but you have to be there because you believe your talent
and ability can be applied effectively to operation of the spacecraft.
- Alan Shepard

Whether you are an astronomer or a life scientist,
geophysicist, or a pilot, you've got to be there because
you believe you are good in your field,
and you can contribute, not because you are going to
get a lot of fame or whatever when you get back.
- Alan Shepard

Then there was the challenge to keep doing better and better,
to fly the best test flight that anybody had ever flown.
That led to my being recognized as one of the more experienced test pilots,
and that led to the astronaut business.
- Alan Shepard

So everything turned out fine, and we were given the
opportunity to go to Washington and be briefed on the project of man in space,
and given the opportunity to choose whether we wanted to get involved or not.
- Alan Shepard

We wanted to be in great shape, we wanted to be able
to cope with zero gravity,
we wanted to be able to cope with accelerations and decelerations and so on.
So all of us trained so that we were probably in the
best physical condition we had ever been in up until that point.
- Alan Shepard

And I think that still is true of this business -
which is basically research and development -
that you probably spend more time in planning and training
and designing for things to go wrong,
and how you cope with them, than you do for things to go right.
- Alan Shepard

We worked with the engineers in the design and construction
and testing phases in those various areas,
then we would get back together at the end of the week
and brief each other as to what had gone on.
- Alan Shepard

I woke up an hour before I was supposed to,
and started going over the mental checklist:
where do I go from here,
what do I do? I don't remember eating anything at all,
just going through the physical, getting into the suit.
We practiced that so much, it was all rote.
- Alan Shepard

Suddenly Star Wars came out while we were on hiatus,
and we looked like the old Buck Rogers series,
where they had cigarette smoke blowing out the back of the rocket ship.
- Gregory Harrison

What is pride? A rocket that emulates the stars.
- William Wordsworth

I certainly remember building model rockets.
It was fun to watch the rocket blast into the air,
suspenseful to wonder if the parachute would open to
bring the rocket safely back.
- Eric Allin Cornell

If I had a rocket launcher, some son of a bitch would die.
- Bruce Cockburn

If you put somebody on a crack pipe and give them a 9 mm Baretta,
you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out
what's going to happen next.
- James Lee Burke

Stand back!
I gotta get some rocket fuel out of the fridge!
- Adam Savage

Rocket science has been mythologized all out of proportion to its true difficulty.
- John Carmack

When you launch in a rocket, you're not really flying that rocket.
You're just sort of hanging on.
- Michael P. Anderson

I don't think makeup is rocket science or a cure for cancer.
- Cindy Crawford

It's not rocket science.
It's social science.
- Clement Mok

Build a rocket ship and leave the earth!
- Jon Heder

If there is a small rocket on top of a big one,
and if the big one is jettisoned and the small one is ignited,
then their speeds are added.
- Hermann Oberth

The thing that interests me least about the radio business is the radio business.
But I've had to learn a little bit about it.
It's not rocket science: You get ratings,
that's good.
- Al Franken

The space shuttle is a better and safer rocket than
it was before the Challenger accident.
- Sally Ride

My favorite album would have to be Rocket To Russia.
I feel this album has the most classic Ramones songs.
- Johnny Ramone

I even have a Harmony Rocket and a Stratocaster with
a scalloped neck back in Florida.
- Daisy Berkowitz

Yet another proposal would have us rocket the waste into the sun,
but, as you're probably aware, about one in ten of
our space shots doesn't quite make it out of the earth's gravitational field.
- David R. Brower

Rocket scientists agree that we have about reached
the limit of our ability to travel in space using chemical rockets.
To achieve anything near the speed of light we will
need a new energy source and a new propellant.
Nuclear fission is not an option.
- Wilson Greatbatch

Nowhere in this country should we have laws that permit
drinking and driving or drinking in vehicles that are on American highways.
This is not rocket science.
We know how to prevent this, and 36 states do.
- Byron Dorgan

To place a man in a multi-stage rocket and project
him into the controlling gravitational field of the
moon where the passengers can make scientific observations,
perhaps land alive, and then return to earth -
all that constitutes a wild dream worthy of Jules Verne.
- Lee De Forest

My mother was a modern woman with a limited interest in religion.
When the sun set and the fast of the Day of Atonement ended,
she shot from the synagogue like a rocket to dance the Charleston.
- Lionel Blue

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired,
signifies in the final sense
a theft from those who hunger and are not fed,
those who are cold and are not clothed.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

The two things that matter the most to me:
emotional resonance and rocket launchers.
Party of Five, a brilliant show, and often made me cry uncontrollably,
suffered ultimately from a lack of rocket launchers.
- Joss Whedon

I leave no trace of wings in the air,
but I am glad I have had my flight.
- Rabindranath Tagore

There are only two or three human stories,
and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely
as if they had never happened before.
- Willa Cather

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.
If we did not sometimes taste of adversity,
prosperity would not be so welcome.
- Anne Bradstreet

I never accepted the idea
that I had to be guided by
some pattern or blueprint.
- Little Richard

What work I have done I have done because it has been play.
If it had been work I shouldn't have done it.
- Mark Twain

We occasionally stumble over the truth
but most of us pick ourselves up and
hurry off as if nothing had happened.
- Winston Churchill

We thought that we had the answers,
it was the questions we had wrong.
- Bono

Men occasionally stumble over the truth,
but most of them pick themselves up
and hurry off as if nothing had happened.
- Winston Churchill

The only good luck many great men ever had was
being born with the ability and determination to overcome bad luck.
- Channing Pollock

When I look back on all these worries,
I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed
that he had had a lot of trouble in his life,
most of which had never happened.
- Winston Churchill

If I had eight hours to chop down a tree,
I'd spend six hours sharpening my ax.
- Abraham Lincoln

In the long run, men hit only what they aim at.
Therefore, they had better aim at something high.
- Henry David Thoreau

Anger is a killing thing:
it kills the man who angers,
for each rage leaves him less than he had been before -
it takes something from him.
- Louis L'Amour

I had three chairs in my house;
one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society.
- Henry David Thoreau

I wept because I had no shoes
until I met a man who had no feet.
- old Persian Proverb

If i had known... i would have lingered
over my coffee a little longer.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end.
It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing;
it's when you've had everything to do, and you've done it.
- Margaret Thatcher

I have found that hollow,
which even I had relied on for solid.
- Henry David Thoreau

It had long since come to my attention
that people of accomplishment
rarely sat back and let things happen to them.
They went out and happened to things.
- Leonardo da Vinci


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