I realized up there that our planet is not infinite. It's fragile. That may not be obvious to a lot of folks, and it's tough that people are fighting each other here on Earth instead of trying to get together and live on this planet. We look pretty vulnerable in the darkness of space.
When I first looked back at the Earth, standing on the Moon I cried
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.
The fact that every part of this ship was built by the low bidder.
If somebody'd said before the flight, 'Are you going to get carried away looking at the Earth from the Moon?' I would have say, 'No, no way.' But yet when I first looked back at the Earth, standing on the Moon, I cried.
You may not have any extra talent, but maybe you are just paying more attention to what you are doing.
I just wanted to be the first one to fly for America, not because I'd end up in the pages of history books.
Why don't you light that candle ?
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.
Why don't you fix your little problem and light this candle?
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.
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.
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.
Got more dirt than ball. Here we go again.
I must admit, maybe I am a piece of history after all.
Roger, liftoff, and the clock is started.
We're going to see passengers in space stations in 15 years, who will be able to buy a ticket and spend a weekend in space.
I guess those of us who have been with NASA kind of understand the tremendous excitement and thrills and celebrations and national pride that went with the Apollo program is just something you're not going to create again, probably until we go to Mars.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I think about the personal accomplishment, but there's more of a sense of the grand achievement by all the people who could put this man on the moon.
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.
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.
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