Henry Spencer Quotes

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Progress requires setbacks: the only sure way to avoid failure is not to try.

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In 1960-61, a small group of female pilots went through many of the same medical tests as the Mercury astronauts and scored very well on them - in fact, better than some of the astronauts did.

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Sometimes people wonder why aeroplanes are so cheap and rockets are so expensive. Even the most superficial comparison shows one obvious difference: aeroplane engines use outside air to burn their fuel, while rockets have to carry their own oxidisers along.

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Reusable rockets promise much easier testing because you should usually get them back, and you can debug as you go rather than having to get everything perfect the first time.

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Supplying fuel for a Mars expedition from the lunar surface is often suggested, but it's hard to make it pay off - Moon bases are expensive, and just buying more rockets to launch fuel from Earth is relatively cheap.

Tags: | Henry Spencer,Moon,Earth,Launch,

The Orion capsule uses an escape system quite like that of the Apollo spacecraft in the 1960s and 70s: an 'escape tower' containing a solid-fuel rocket that will pull it up and away from Ares I in a pinch.

Tags: | Henry Spencer,Escape,Will,Away,

Whether solid rockets are more or less likely to fail than liquid-fuel rockets is debatable. More serious, though, is that when they do fail, it's usually violent and spectacular.

Tags: | Henry Spencer,Fail,Serious,More,

Not until the space shuttle started flying did NASA concede that some astronauts didn't have to be fast-jet pilots. And at that point, sure enough, women started becoming astronauts.

Tags: | Henry Spencer,Women,Flying,Point,

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