and the reaction to them...
"But I believed--I believed. I read
Verne, and Wells, and Smith, and I believed that we could do
it--that we would do it. I set my heart on being one of the
men to walk the surface of the Moon, to see her other side, and to
look back on the face of the Earth, hanging in the sky."
D. D. Harriman in Requiem, by
Robert A. Heinlein
In recognition of his
meritorious service to the Nation and mankind in advocating and
promoting the exploration of space. Through dozens of superbly
written novels and essays and his epoch-making movie Destination
Moon, he helped inspire the Nation to take its first step into space
and onto the Moon. Even after his death, his books live on as
testimony to a man of purpose and vision, a man dedicated to
encouraging others to dream, explore and achieve.
Distinguished Public Service Medal awarded
posthumously by National Space and Aeronautics Administration to
Robert A. Heinlein, 1988
This is the most
important day since the human race learned to talk.
Robert A. Heinlein, the
day man first walked on the moon
For myself, we didn't
have a space program when I was young, and science fiction was my
only contact with planets and space travel and things like that. In
fact, I did read Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov and
they were an inspiration to me because I thought what a wonderful
kind of job to have in the future, to be a person who traveled to
different planets and explored like that. So it was an early
influence on me and later when we did have a space program I thought
that it would be a great career choice and I pursued that for
several years before I finally was allowed to become an astronaut.
James S. Voss, NASA
The arching sky is calling
Spacemen back to their trade.
All hands! Stand by! Free Falling!
And the lights below us fade.
Out ride the sons of Terra,
Far drives the thundering jet,
Up leaps the race of Earthmen,
Out, far, and onward yet--
From The Green Hills
of Earth by Robert A. Heinlein
As I wander back to my
childhood, and I think even before Sputnik or Telstar or Mercury or
Gemini –all those things, I can remember being an eight-year-old
back in the hills of West Virginia, going down to the local theater
on a Saturday morning and watching Destination Moon. I think
that was one of the things that got me started. He made great
contributions to our society, to our science fiction, and in fact,
to the reality of our Space Program that we’re living with today.
Jon A. McBride, NASA
Behaving on a still
higher moral level were the astronauts who went to the Moon, for
their actions tend toward the survival of the entire race of
mankind. The door they opened leads to the hope that h. sapiens will
survive indefinitely long, even longer than this solid planet on
which we stand tonight. As a direct result of what they did, it is
now possible that the human race will never die.
Many short-sighted fools think that
going to the Moon was just a stunt. But the astronauts knew the
meaning of what they were doing, as is shown by Neil Armstrong's
first words in stepping down onto the soil of Luna: "One small step
for a man, one giant leap for mankind."
The Pragmatics of
Patriotism by Robert A. Heinlein
Robert Heinlein had as
much to do with creating our future as any man of this century. .
.most of JPL’s [NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory] scientists and
engineers would never have been there if his stories had not called
them to study and learn so that they could make his dreams a
reality. His stories have caused more young people to choose careers
in science and engineering than all of the formal recruitment
pitches ever tried. His stories made us ready, convinced us that it
could be done. Robert Heinlein was truly The Man Who Sold the Moon.
Dr. Jerry Pournelle,
Chairman, Citizen's Advisory Council on National Space Policy
Our race will spread
out through space--unlimited room, unlimited energy, unlimited
wealth. This is certain.
Spinoff by Robert A. Heinlein
Bob Heinlein helped to
create the first science fiction movie I ever saw, Destination
Moon, which was also the first truly serious attempt to describe
a trip to the moon. Bob Heinlein made footsteps big enough for a
whole country to follow. And it was our country that did it. . .our
country will inevitably proceed down the path marked by the ideas of
Tom Clancy, Author of
The Sum of All Fears