Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It's just mind-blowingly awesome. I apologize, and I wish I was more articulate, but it's hard to be articulate when your mind's blown—but in a very good way.
A good rule for rocket experimenters to follow is this: always assume that it will explode.
I am a stranger. I come in peace. Take me to your leader and there will be a massive reward for you in eternity.
The size and age of the Cosmos are beyond ordinary human understanding. Lost somewhere between immensity and eternity is our tiny planetary home. In a cosmic perspective, most human concerns seem insignificant, even petty. And yet our species is young and curious and brave and shows much promise. In the last few millennia we have made the most astonishing and unexpected discoveries about the Cosmos and our place within it, explorations that are exhilarating to consider. They remind us that humans have evolved to wonder, that understanding is a joy, that knowledge is prerequisite to survival. I believe our future depends powerfully on how well we understand this Cosmos in which we float like a mote of dust in the morning sky.
Houston, that may have seemed like a very long final phase. The autotargeting was taking us right into a ... crater, with a large number of big boulders and rocks ... and it required ... flying manually over the rock field to find a reasonably good area.