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50 Humbling & Inspirational Alan Shepard Quotes

Zisilia Alvsa

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50 Humbling & Inspirational Alan Shepard Quotes

Which are your favorite Alan Shepard quotes?

Alan Shepard was an American astronaut, naval aviator, test pilot, and businessman. He made history when he became the second man and the first American to travel into space and for being the oldest person to walk on the moon at his 47 years of age.

Shepard initially served with the Navy during World War II and then became a naval aviator and test pilot before finally getting selected as one of the original NASA Mercury Seven astronauts.

Shepard worked for NASA as their Chief of the Astronaut Office from 1963 until he retired in 1974. After his retirement, Shepard founded his own company called ‘Seven Fourteen Enterprises’, which was named after his two space missions, ‘Freedom 7’ and ‘Apollo 14’.

Here’s a collection of the most humbling Alan Shepard quotes:

 

50 Humbling & Inspirational Alan Shepard Quotes

1. “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

2. “You know, being a test pilot isn’t always the healthiest business in the world.” – Alan Shepard

3. “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

4. “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

5. “When I first looked back at the Earth, standing on the Moon I cried.” – Alan Shepard

6. “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

7. “I think first of all you have to be there for the right reason.” – Alan Shepard

8. “Obviously I was challenged by becoming a Naval aviator, by landing aboard aircraft carriers and so on.” – Alan Shepard

9. “I just wanted to be the first one to fly for America, not because I’d end up in the pages of history books.” – Alan Shepard

 

10th of 50 Alan Shepard Quotes

10. “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

 

11. “Then I thought, with the same clubhead speed, the ball’s going to go at least six times as far. There’s absolutely no drag, so if you do happen to spin it, it won’t slice or hook ’cause there’s no atmosphere to make it turn.” – Alan Shepard

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12. “Why don’t you fix your little problem and light this candle?” – Alan Shepard

13. “We need a continuing presence in space.” – Alan Shepard

14. “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

15. “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

16. “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.” – Alan Shepard

17. “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

18. “I can hit it farther on the moon. But actually, my swing is better here on Earth.” – Alan Shepard

19. “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

 

20th of 50 Alan Shepard Quotes

20. “Roger, liftoff and the clock is started.” – Alan Shepard

 

21. “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

22. “I must admit, maybe I am a piece of history after all.” – Alan Shepard

23. “You may not have any extra talent, but maybe you are just paying more attention to what you are doing.” – Alan Shepard

24. “Miles and miles and miles.” – Alan Shepard

25. “Got more dirt than ball. Here we go again.” – Alan Shepard

26. “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.” – Alan Shepard

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27. “Of course, in our grade school, in those days, there were no organized sports at all. We just went out and ran around the schoolyard for recess.” – Alan Shepard

28. “The fact that every part of this ship was built by the low bidder.” – Alan Shepard

29. “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.” – Alan Shepard

 

30th of 50 Alan Shepard Quotes

30. “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

 

31. “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

32. “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

33. “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

34. “There’s no question that all the generations got excited about the first flights, with Kennedy’s inspiration to go to the moon, leaving the planet for the first time, and fortunately coming back.” – Alan Shepard

35. “On the periscope . . . . What a beautiful view. Cloud cover over Florida – three to four-tenths near the eastern coast. Obscured up to Hatteras . . . I can see [lake] Okeechobee. Identify Andros Island. Identify the reefs.” – Alan Shepard

36. “Because of the suit I was wearing, I couldn’t make a good pivot on the swing. And I had to hit the ball with one hand.” – Alan Shepard

37. “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

38. “We also knew it would be difficult, because of the financial condition of the family, for me to go to college.” – Alan Shepard

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39. “If somebody 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.” – Alan Shepard

 

40th of 50 Alan Shepard Quotes

40. “Al is on the surface. And it’s been a long way, but we’re here.” – Alan Shepard

 

41. “The suit was so clumsy, being pressurized, it was impossible to get two hands comfortably on the handle and it’s impossible to make any kind of a turn. It was kind of a one-handed chili-dip.” – Alan Shepard

42. “I know you’re all saying I can go to the moon but I can’t find Pasadena.” – Alan Shepard

43. “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.” – Alan Shepard

44. “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

45. “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

46. “We had some adverse conditions in the ’60s, in the ’70s, and the ’80s. The agency has risen above that in the past and will rise above that again.” – Alan Shepard

47. “The same way people are now paying a couple thousand dollars to fly to other parts of the world, people will be paying $50,000 to spend a weekend on a space station.” – Alan Shepard

48. “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

49. “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

50. “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

 

Summary

Thanks for checking out this collection of quotes from Alan Shepard! Don’t forget to share them on social media with your friends and family.

Which are your favorite Alan Shepard quotes? Leave a comment below.

Zisilia Alvsa is a writer for Wealthy Gorilla. Friends often call her Zii. She is a girl from Jakarta, Indonesia who currently lives in Bali. Zii loves photography and travelling.

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