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Then there was the challenge to keep doing better and better,
by 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

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

 

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

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

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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Choose Inner Peace.
Nothing is worth losing your inner peace.
Take action as circumstances require,
but never surrender your inner peace.
Stop. Breathe deeply.
Close your eyes and breathe deeply again.
Then, and only then, take action -
from a peaceful heart.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

If you want to make peace with your enemy,
you have to work with your enemy.
Then he becomes your partner.
- Nelson Mandela

Seek first to understand,
then to be understood.
- Stephen Covey

We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.
- Will Durant (commonly attributed to Aristotle)

If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
- Mother Teresa

Trust yourself, then you will know how to live.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I can't go back to yesterday -
because I was a different person then.
- Lewis Carroll

Once you know yourself as a genuine seeker,
and when your own inner chamber is quite enlightened,
then comes the natural unfoldment of pure love and compassion
and a genuine desire to serve others.
- Rod Stryker

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time,
for that is the stuff that life is made of.
- Benjamin Franklin

When the tempest rages, when the thunders roar,
and the lightnings blaze around us
it is then that the truly brave man stands firm at his post.
- Luther Martin

Always listen to the experts.
They'll tell you what can't be done and why.
Then do it.
- Robert Heinlein

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
- William Shakespeare

Knowledge is soon changed, then lost in the mist, an echo half-heard.
- Gene Wolfe

Today, I will do my best...
and then relax in the knowing
that I have done all I could.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Everything is okay in the end.
If it's not okay, then it's not the end.
- Anonymous

All the works of man have their origin in creative fantasy.
What right have we then to depreciate imagination.
- Carl Jung

Play the game for more than you can afford to lose...
only then will you learn the game.
- Winston Churchill

It is better to conquer yourself
than to win a thousand battles.
Then the victory is yours.
It cannot be taken from you,
not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.
- The Buddha

We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal,
and then leap in the dark to our success.
- Henry David Thoreau

We first make our habits, then our habits make us.
- John Dryden

Know, first, who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly.
- Epictetus

You have to learn the rules of the game.
And then you have to play better than anyone else.
- Albert Einstein

I think that somehow, we learn who we really are
and then live with that decision.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Does thou love life? Then do not squander time;
for that's the stuff life is made of.
- Benjamin Franklin

If everyone is moving forward together,
then success takes care of itself.
- Henry Ford

Everyone should carefully observe
which way his heart draws him,
and then choose that way with all his strength.
- Hasidic Proverb

When you are offended at any man's fault,
turn to yourself and study your own failings.
Then you will forget your anger.
- Epictetus

First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak.
- Epictetus

Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.
- Abraham Lincoln

When you see something done,
know that you intended it.
If you don't like what you see,
then deeply examine your intentions.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

It is any day better to stand erect
with a broken and bandaged head
then to crawl on one's belly,
in order to be able to save one's head.
- Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi

"Begin at the beginning," the King said, very gravely,
"and go on till you come to the end: then stop."
- Lewis Carroll

Practice yourself, for heaven's sake in little things,
and then proceed to greater.
- Epictetus

Believe you can - and then make it happen.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Look at everything as though you were seeing it
either for the first or last time.
Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.
- Betty Smith

Start by doing what's necessary;
then do what's possible;
and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
- St. Francis of Assisi

If we could first know where we are,
and whither we are tending,
we could then better judge what to do,
and how to do it.
- Abraham Lincoln

Our real problem, then, is not our strength today;
it is rather the vital necessity of action today
to ensure our strength tomorrow.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Choose wisely - then act decisively. Do it today!
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Life is change. Without change, there is no life.
Why then do we so fight against change?
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

You need to make a commitment,
and once you make it,
then life will give you some answers.
- Les Brown

If you wish to see the truth,
then hold no opinion for or against.
- Osho


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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

 


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