From astronauts to the boss, thoughts on shuttle

Jul 08, 2011

(AP) -- One thing about the end of space shuttle flight: Everyone has an opinion. A look at some of the views from those close to the space program:

"The shuttle is always going to be a reflection of what a great nation can do when it dares to be bold and commits to follow through."

-Atlantis commander Christopher Ferguson just before launch.

"We've got a lot of work to do. We've got another program that we've got to get under way. ... We know what we're doing. We know how to get there. We've just got to convince everybody else that we know what we're doing."

-NASA Administrator Charles Bolden to workers after liftoff.

"Those vehicles, in my opinion, could fly for another 30 years and could be flown safely."

-Robert Crippen, pilot of the first space shuttle flight.

"NASA doesn't have a story right now. Exploration is nothing if not the articulation of a great story."

- Astronaut John Grunsfeld, who helped repair the three times.

"I think the is ending exactly as it should. We built the ... and we finished really strong."

-Mike Moses, chairman of the mission management team for .

"People wanted to get rid of the space shuttle and so they have done so. They have done so in condemning it in many different ways, all of which in my opinion were false."

-Christopher Kraft, founder of Mission Control.

"There is no embarrassment in setting the bar impossibly high and then failing to clear it. What matters is that we strived mightily to do so."

-Astronaut Duane Carey.

"The biggest (of the shuttle program) in terms of belief in a better future - the adrenaline we get from doing something other than dropping bombs."

- Astronaut Mae Jemison, first black woman in space.

"It's a strategic mistake for the United States ... to replace the space shuttle for nothing."

- Former .

"I gotta get back to work. We've got a lot more work to do."

- Garrett Reisman, ex-astronaut and commercial crew manager for Space Exploration Technologies Corp., which is developing new spacecraft and rockets.

"When we look back on it I think it was the perfect vehicle for its time."

- John Glenn, the first American in orbit, who also flew a shuttle in 1998.

"It'll be sad to see it retired. But we are looking forward to new spacecraft, new destinations. We're all excited about the future."

- Mark Kelly, commander of the next-to-last-space shuttle flight.

"Winston Churchill said: 'This is not the end. This is not even the beginning of the end. It is perhaps the end of the beginning.' That's what I think of all the time... We're going to the next chapter."

- NASA chief technology officer Bobby Braun.

"It's the end of a career, not the beginning of a new one. What we lack is the beginning of a new one."

- George Mueller, former NASA official often called the father of the program.

Explore further: Mysteries of space dust revealed

5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA Updates Shuttle Target Launch Date for Hubble Mission

Jun 07, 2007

NASA managers officially are targeting Sept. 10, 2008, for the launch of the fifth and final space shuttle servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. During the 11-day flight, Atlantis' seven astronauts will repair ...

NASA Amends Crew Assignment for STS-126 Mission

Nov 21, 2007

NASA has replaced a crew member assigned to space shuttle mission STS-126. Astronaut Donald R. Pettit will take the place of astronaut Joan E. Higginbotham, who has left NASA to accept a position in the private sector. The ...

Recommended for you

Mysteries of space dust revealed

Aug 29, 2014

The first analysis of space dust collected by a special collector onboard NASA's Stardust mission and sent back to Earth for study in 2006 suggests the tiny specks open a door to studying the origins of the ...

A guide to the 2014 Neptune opposition season

Aug 29, 2014

Never seen Neptune? Now is a good time to try, as the outermost ice giant world reaches opposition this weekend at 14:00 Universal Time (UT) or 10:00 AM EDT on Friday, August 29th. This means that the distant ...

Informing NASA's Asteroid Initiative: A citizen forum

Aug 28, 2014

In its history, the Earth has been repeatedly struck by asteroids, large chunks of rock from space that can cause considerable damage in a collision. Can we—or should we—try to protect Earth from potentially ...

Image: Rosetta's comet looms

Aug 28, 2014

Wow! Rosetta is getting ever-closer to its target comet by the day. This navigation camera shot from Aug. 23 shows that the spacecraft is so close to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko that it's difficult to ...

User comments : 0