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I don't think it's any coincidence that I lost my religious faith and 'manned up' in the same year. I was described somewhere as a lapsed Catholic, which is funny because I'm not going back! I want to achieve things rather than live life in an animalistic way.
The practical case for manned spacef light gets ever-weaker with each advance in robots and miniaturisation - indeed, as a scientist or practical man, I see little purpose in sending people into space at all. But as a human being, I'm an enthusiast for manned missions.
I'm in favor of changing the destination of humans. There are a lot of manned missions that can be done, but not in the direction of the moon.
The fastest manned vehicle in history was Apollo 10. It reached 25,000 mph.
We collectively have a special place in our heart for the manned space flight program - Apollo nostalgia is one element, but that is only part of it. American culture worships explorers - look at the fame of Lewis and Clark, for example. The American people want to think of themselves as supporting exploration.
It would be sad if the expertise built up during the 40 years of the U.S. and Russian manned programmes were allowed to dissipate. But abandoning the shuttle, and committing to new launch vehicles and propulsion systems, is actually a prerequisite for a vibrant manned programme.
One of the things I'm proudest of is, on my record 'That Was the Year that Was' in 1965, I made a joke about spending $20 billion sending some clown to the moon. I was against the manned space program then, and I'm even more against it now, that whole waste of money.
In the coming era of manned space exploration by the private sector, market forces will spur development and yield new, low-cost space technologies. If the history of private aviation is any guide, private development efforts will be safer, too.
I want manned spaceflight, not just back to the Moon, but beyond that. And I want my daughters and my son to have their own July 20, 1969, to remember. Apollo 11 didn't give us wings; it only showed us how far the wings we had would take us.
Funding for the original manned Voyager Mars Program was scratched in 1968, before humans had gotten out of Low Earth Orbit. Mid-'60s plans for a Venus fly-by with astronauts actually flying by it met the same fate.
P. J. O'Rourke
Manned spaceflight has lost its glamour - understandably so, because it hardly seems inspiring, 40 years after Apollo, for astronauts merely to circle the Earth in the space shuttle and the International Space Station.
In the large cities that received new Americans, there flowered a golden age of restaurants, manned by the available talent from abroad and fueled by the restless wealth of the newly rich.
David Joseph Schwartz
Our goal is to show that you can develop a robust, safe manned space program and do it at an extremely low cost.
I am convinced that the modular structure of the Mir will be the main trend in manned orbital stations development in the next century.
To allow public access to orbit, we would need breakthroughs that would lower the cost by a lot more than an order of magnitude and increase safety by a factor of 100 as compared to every launch system used since the first manned space flight. I think airborne launch will be a significant part of the safety solution.
Research into manned spaceflight is shifting from low-Earth orbit to destinations much further away, like Mars and the asteroid belt. But society will have to invent many new technologies before it can plausibly send people to those distances.
In 1940, Germany toppled France in 20 days, and the panzerdivizion symbolized war's shift from drawn-out conflicts using massive fortifications to rapid-fire engagements built around manned, motorized armor.
I was selected to be an astronaut on a military program called the Manned Orbiting Laboratory back in '67. That program got cancelled in '69 and NASA ended up taking half of us.
There's nothing I would like more than to watch a manned Mars landing.
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