Space Quotes

This collection of space quotes, cosmic wisecracks and universal oneliners was originally tweeted from the, nowadays pretty dormant, Modified Mars Twitteraccount. I felt they deserved a more permanent location; after all, colonizing the Galaxy is a long term project.

Some of these quotes are funny, others are dead serious; occasionally they’re both. They all are, sometimes very obvious, in other cases rather remotely, linked to themes like Mars, spaceflight, astronomy or the universe in general.

And since I call this an image blog, I mix the quotes with some space art I’ve produced over the years.

Interior of a steampunk cafe with a framed print of the "Belgian" planet Nervia
Belgian planet in a Belgian steampunk cafe

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
Oscar Wilde

“Maybe the future belongs not to us, but to the Martians.”
from Jeff Wayne‘s musical version of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds

“Mars will be colonized. If we don’t do it, the racoons will, in 50 million years.”
Robert Zubrin

“Space isn’t remote at all. It’s only an hour’s drive away if your car could go straight upwards.”
Fred Hoyle

“Things are only impossible until they’re not.”
Jean-Luc Picard

“We have lingered long enough on the shores of the cosmic ocean. We are ready at last to set sail for the stars”
Carl Sagan

“Why, I ask myself, shouldn’t the shining dots of the sky be as accessible as the black dots on the map of France?”
Vincent van Gogh

“Fly me to the moon and let me play among the stars. Let me see what spring is like on Jupiter and Mars.”
Frank Sinatra

“The past is but the beginning of a beginning, and all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn.”
H.G. Wells

“Given ships or sails adapted to the breezes of heaven, there will be those who will not shrink from even that vast expanse.”
Johannes Kepler

Artist impression of the ESA space probe Huygens, landing on Titan, largest moon of the planet Saturn, in january 2005
Artist impression of ESA probe Huygens landing on Titan

“Once we have established many worlds, we can do whatever we want as long as we do it one world at a time.”
Isaac Asimov

“The important achievement of Apollo was a demonstration that humanity is not forever chained to this planet.”
Neil Armstrong

“My chances of being PM are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars.”
Boris Johnson

“Worlds may freeze and suns may perish, but there stirs something within us now that can never die again.”

“We live at what could be a defining moment for the cosmos, not just for our Earth.”
Martin Rees

“In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”
Douglas Adams

“In the universe, space travel may be the normal birth pangs of an otherwise dying race. A test. Some races pass, some fail.”
Robert Heinlein

“Only in a universe of unlimited resources can all men be brothers.”
Robert Zubrin

“The glowworm that explores the dust will never know there are stars in the sky.”
Rabindranath Tagore

“In the new wilderness of the Solar System may lie the future preservation of mankind.”
Arthur C. Clarke

Artist impression of the planet Venus as seen from space, terraformed, with oceans, continents and cloud patterns, as well as rings to provide shade in the equatorial regions
Venus, terraformed and equipped with rings for shading purposes

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

“I’m your Venus, I’m your fire, at your desire.”
Shocking Blue

“I would like to die on Mars. Just not on impact.”
Elon Musk

“For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.”
Carl Sagan

“Satellite’s gone, way up to Mars. Soon it will be filled with parking cars.”
Lou Reed

“Men are from Mars, women are from Venus and real men go back!”
Richard Reekers

“The goal for the solar system would seem to be that it should become an interplanetary community of very diverse worlds.”
Olaf Stapledon

“Those planets that are not inhabited now, will be at some time in the future.”
Immanuel Kant

“Without space included in the equation, ‘sustainable growth’ is an oxymoron.”
Rick Tumlinson

“The American colonies would never have been pioneered if the ships that crossed the ocean hadn’t been reusable.”
Elon Musk

Artist impression of the European Mars Analogue Research Station at its proposed location in the area of the Krafla volcano in northern Iceland, with two astronauts discussing their equipment
European Mars Analogue Research Station in northern Iceland

“Water is the key to life, but in frozen form, it is a latent force. And when it vanishes, Earth becomes Mars.”
Frans Lanting

“And out comes the man from Mars. And you try to run but he’s got a gun. And he shoots you dead and he eats your head”

“The Earth is the cradle of humanity, but mankind cannot stay in the cradle forever.”
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

“If the Earth is the cradle of mankind, the Solar System is the schoolyard.”
Robert Zubrin

“Going to Mars is not a luxury we can’t afford – it is a necessity we can’t afford to be without.”
James Cameron

“Maybe this world is another planet’s Hell.”
Aldous Huxley

“Politicians should read science fiction, not westerns and detective stories.”
Arthur C. Clarke

I’d rather be Mercury, the smallest among seven, revolving round the sun, than the first among five, revolving round Saturn.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“The universe is a pretty big place. If it’s just us, seems like an awful waste of space.”
Carl Sagan

“If you think this universe is bad, you should see some of the others.”
Philip K. Dick

Illustration for feuilleton "Home is Where the Hab is" showing the small tethered spacecraft leaving Earth orbit, bound for Mars
lllustration for feuilleton Home Is Where The Hab Is

Man from Mars, this time you went too far.”
Joni Mitchell

The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage.”
Mark Russell

“Many, and some of the most pressing, of our terrestrial problems can be solved only by going into space.
Arthur C. Clarke

“Clearly our first task is to use the material wealth of space to solve the urgent problems we now face on Earth.”
Gerard O’Neill

“Our only chance of long term survival, is not to remain inward looking on planet Earth, but to spread out into space.”
Stephen Hawking

“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe, the less taste we shall have for destruction.”
Rachel Carson

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”
Carl Sagan

“The English eat all sorts of birds, pigeons, ducks, sparrows. but if you tell them you eat puffin, you might as well come from Mars.”

“By exploring and understanding Mars, we may gain key insights into the past and future of our own world.”
Buzz Aldrin

“We choose to go to the Moon, not because it’s easy, but because it’s hard.”
John F. Kennedy

Virtual mission patch for Crew Zero at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, as illustration for a collection of space quotes
Virtual mission patch for MDRS Crew Zero, January 2002

“The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson

“The sunlights differ, but there is only one darkness.”
Ursula Le Guin

“The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.”
Carl Sagan

“I look for what needs to be done. After all, that’s how the universe designs itself.”
R. Buckminster Fuller

“The world and the universe are far more wonderful if there’s not a puppet master.”
Dave Matthews

“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.”
Arthur C. Clarke

“It is easier to go to Mars or to the moon than it is to penetrate one’s own being.”
Carl Gustav Jung

You’re on Mars. Deal with it!
Artemis Westenberg

“The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest.”
Kurt Vonnegut

No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an unchartered land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.
Helen Keller

Tiny habitat, greenhouse and rover in a vast Martian landscape under light from stars and Earth
Artwork made for the Humans to Mars summit 2013 in Washington DC

“You are the universe, you aren’t in the universe.”
Eckhart Tolle

“The Earth is just too small and fragile a basket for the human race to keep all its eggs in.”
Robert Heinlein

Space is for everybody. It’s not just for a few people in science or math, or for a select group of astronauts. That’s our new frontier out there, and it’s everybody’s business to know about space.
Christa McAuliffe

“Life, forever dying to be born afresh, forever young and eager, will presently stand upon this Earth as upon a footstool, and stretch out its realm amidst the stars.”

“Is it really conceivable, given all of that immensity, all that structure, that we are truly alone? That life emerged here, and nowhere else?”
Stephen Baxter

“So much universe, and so little time.”
Terry Prattchet

“What this world needs now, is a new world.”
Frans Blok

“It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and reality of tomorrow.”
Robert Goddard

Men who have worked together to reach the stars are not likely to descend together into the depths of war and desolation.
Lyndon B. Johnson

“We live on a planet that’s close to its star, and has a transparent atmosphere, molten core and a large natural satellite. Any species that can’t produce an abundance of electricity under such ideal conditions without needing to break perfectly good atoms shouldn’t be allowed out of its gravity well.”
Shaun Moss

Logo of the Department of History of the University of Mars on a red T-shirt, with an astronaut, a rover and the Uni's motto Explorare Humanum Est
Official logo of the UoM History Department printed on a red T-shirt

They’ll be tearing us apart, moving us to Mars. Past the satellites and stars; well they’re moving us to Mars.”

“Whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”
Max Ehrmann

“If it’s a new planet, sign me up. I’m tired of driving around the block, boldly going where hundreds have gone before in orbit around Earth — give me a place to go and I’ll go.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson

“Do not look at stars as bright spots only. Try to take in the vastness of the universe.”
Maria Mitchell

We are all children of this universe. Not just Earth, or Mars, or this system, but the whole grand fireworks. And if we are interested in Mars at all, it is only because we wonder over our past and worry terribly about our possible future.
Ray Bradbury

“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.”
Stephen Hawking

“”There can be no Plan B because there is no planet B
Ban Ki-moon

(Note: it’s unclear who first came up with the slogan There is no planet B. The quote has also been attributed to Richard Branson and Mike Berners-Lee, among others, but its origins may be older. Since it’s used so often these days, I factchecked the quote. Spoiler: indeed…)

Framed print of a mosaic based on the famous Earthrise photo made by the Apollo 8 crew, on a wall in a Mars habitat
The Earthrise Mosaic

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