I remember growing up thinking that astronauts and their job was the coolest thing you could possibly do... But I absolutely couldn't identify with the people who were astronauts. I thought they were movie stars.
There are millions of people out there who would love to become astronauts, who'd love to go to space - they'd love to look back at this wonderful world from space. That will be the engine that will enable us then to develop spaceships to transport people around the world at tremendous speeds in an environmentally friendly way.
I'm sure we would not have had men on the Moon if it had not been for Wells and Verne and the people who write about this and made people think about it. I'm rather proud of the fact that I know several astronauts who became astronauts through reading my books.
Astronauts were not the impulsive daredevils so dear to the stereopticonloving public. They couldn't afford to be. The hazards of the profession required an infinite capacity for cautious, contemplative thought.
No matter that astronauts and cosmonauts had perished in precisely designed and carefully tested machines. Solid engineering could always provide a safety margin, because the engineers believed, there was complete safety in numbers.
Audiences of critical thinkers are my favorite kinds of audiences. There are jokes I tell in the show that don't get laughs unless I am in front of an audience of critical thinkers. Put me in front of a crowd of science teachers or astronauts! The guileless aren't our audience - it's the critical thinkers we love.
The dark dangerous forest is still there, my friends. Beyond the space of the astronauts and the astronomers, beyond the dark, tangled regions of Freudian and Jungian psychiatry, beyond the dubious psi-realms of Dr. Rhine, beyond the areas policed by the commissars and priests and motivations-research men, far, far beyond the mad, beat, half-hysterical laughter... the utterly unknown still is and the eerie and ghostly lurk, as much wrapped in mystery as ever.