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I must admit, maybe I am a piece of history after all. ...
by Alan Shepard

I must admit, maybe I am a piece of history after all.
- Alan Shepard

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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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

They say any landing you can walk away from is a good one.
- Alan Shepard

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

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

You know, being a test pilot isn't always the healthiest business in the world.
- Alan Shepard

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

It's been a long way, but we're here.
- Alan Shepard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The rocket had worked perfectly, and all I had to do
was survive the reentry forces.
You do it all, in a flight like that,
in a rather short period of time, just 16 minutes as a matter of fact.
- Alan Shepard

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

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

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

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

The man with insight enough to admit his limitations
comes nearest to perfection.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

No persons are more frequently wrong,
than those who will not admit they are wrong.
- Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Immortality is a long shot, I admit.
But somebody has to be first.
- Bill Cosby

Whatever your work and whatever its worth,
No matter how strong or clever,
Some one will sneer if you pause to hear,
And scoff at your best endeavor.
For the target art has a broad expanse,
And wherever you chance to hit it,
Though close be your aim to the bull's-eye fame,
There are those who will never admit it.
- Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Is it not enough to know the evil to shun it?
If not, we should be sincere enough to admit
that we love evil too well to give it up.
- Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi

Cats are inquisitive, but hate to admit it.
- Mason Cooley

I must admit that I personally measure success
in terms of the contributions
an individual makes to her or his fellow human beings.
- Margaret Mead

Every man who repeats the dogma of Mill that one country
is no fit to rule another country must admit that one
class is not fit to rule another class.
- B. R. Ambedkar

Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.
- Bruce Lee

Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes.
It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.
- Steve Jobs

I admit to wasting my life messing around with fast cars and motorcycles.
- Brock Yates

I never saw a lawyer yet who would admit he was making money.
- Mary Roberts Rinehart

We are to admit no more causes of natural things than
such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.
- Isaac Newton

Too many athletes do not admit their weaknesses.
- Bill Toomey

No man should advocate a course in private that he's
ashamed to admit in public.
- George McGovern

The last state to admit a black student to the college
level was South Carolina.
- Constance Baker Motley

At least I have the modesty to admit that lack of modesty is one of my failings.
- Hector Berlioz

I would gladly admit women are superior to men if only
they would stop trying to be the same as us.
- Sacha Guitry

I do all the evil I can before I learn to shun it?
Is it not enough to know the evil to shun it?
If not, we should be sincere enough to admit
that we love evil too well to give it up.
- Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi

God ceases to be God only for those who can admit the
possibility of His non-existence,
and that conception is in itself the most severe punishment they can suffer.
- Giacomo Casanova

I'm the first to admit this whole salary thing is getting out of control.
In the final analysis, it's still about the work.
- Jim Carrey

I hate Stanley Clark, but I have to admit he's playing
Jazz whether I like it or not.
- Lester Bangs

Insane people are always sure that they are fine.
It is only the sane people who are willing to admit that they are crazy.
- Nora Ephron

Erotica is pornography I am willing to publicly admit I like.
- Spider Robinson

I promised myself that I'd never actually admit to
listening to New Kids on the Block.
- Alicia Keys

Genius, scholar, and war hero though he is,
you have to admit - or maybe you should think about admitting -
that George Bush might have rushed things a little in invading Iraq.
- Alan Colmes

I have to admit that when I watch a movie in which
there is no moral context for the violence -
I find that offensive.
I think that's potentially damaging to society.
- Dean Koontz

I have to admit, I do not listen to much rock music.
- Giorgio Moroder

I'm willing to admit that I may not always be right,
but I am never wrong.
- Samuel Goldwyn

I admit that Post-it note sheets that adhere to virtually
any surface are now my substitute of choice for retention.
- Candice Bergen

Any fool can say he is wise but only someone wise can admit he is a fool.
- Michael Reed

I admit it: I had fun watching right-wingers go wild
as health reform finally became law.
- Paul Krugman

I certainly believe it's over for the jury system,
but we won't admit it for a while.
- Joseph Wambaugh

If I desired to kill the senator why did I not do it?
You all admit that I had him in my power.
- Preston Brooks

To admit there is no god is to provide free license
to pillage and rape with clear conscience.
- Eli Khamarov

I admit I'm being paid well, but it's no more than I deserve.
After all, I've been screwed more times than a hooker.
- Sean Connery

To what a degree the same past can leave different marks -
and especially admit of different interpretations.
- Andre Gide

People are always ready to admit a man's ability after he gets there.
- Bob Edwards

Later on when it became a routine it was not as exciting I'll admit that.
The first three years were wonderful,
the rest were just money making and having fun.
- Larry Hagman

Many a time a man cannot be such as he would be,
if circumstances do not admit of it.
- Jean Racine

I just didn't want to admit that he was dead.
- Lindy Boggs

True friends: only a few have 'em, but only a few will admit that they don't.
- Brian Celio


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