Timidity does not inspire bold acts.
When I was a little girl, I thought when I had an opportunity to go into space, I thought I would at a minimum be working on Mars or another large planet because we were doing all of these incredible things.
I'm not somebody who gets teared up or anything, but I still look up at the stars, and it gives me hope, and it gives me energy. I think one of the things that we have to think about it is, we are all a part of this universe.
People like space. But they sometimes have been left out. People are much more open to that if you invite them in.
When you have teachers saying, 'I don't have enough time for hands-on activities,' we need to rethink the way we do education.
Everyone in the astronaut program has a degree in a science field. The crew are the ones who do the experiments, help to design some of the experiments that come from other primary researchers. So it becomes very important that you have a science background.
Seeing a full display of humanity involved in space is a game-changer for everyone. We've all looked at the stars; we've all imagined what was going on. Not everyone wants to go, but everyone wants to know what it's like.
There are individuals who can support you, but frequently, you have to risk putting yourself out there -- and sometimes you just have to push.
There is a fascination with the idea that one has 'seen someone else do something' before one can achieve it. Maybe that's true in some cases, but clearly it is not a requirement. I knew what I wanted to do.
I think that people need an adrenalin rush. Folks need something aspirational; they need to do something that is hard. That's what ignites the imagination.
Kids come out of the chute liking science. They ask, 'How come? Why? What's this?' They pick up stuff to examine it. We might not call that science, but it's discovering the world around us.
A big part of engaging kids in science is not getting the single, correct answer; it's being willing to work with students to discover the correct answer.
Sciences provide an understanding of a universal experience, Arts are a universal understanding of a personal experience... they are both a part of us and a manifestation of the same thing... the arts and sciences are avatars of human creativity.
What I'm very concerned about is how do we bolster our self-awareness as humans, as biological organisms?
I'd love to go into space again if there were a mission to Mars. I'd also love to go to a completely different planetary system, out of our solar system.
One Hundred Year Starship really is about the idea that is we pursue an extraordinary tomorrow; we'll build a better world today.
For me, it was really a childhood dream coming true. It's sort of where the fantasy led reality, and then I got to be on the Starship Enterprise anyway. And the cool thing was -- is I was the only person on this bridge who had actually been in space.
The really wonderful thing that happened to me when I was in space was this feeling of belonging to the entire universe.
Greatness can be captured in one word: lifestyle. Life is God's gift to you, style is what you make of it.
Sometimes parents squash students' interests because they are afraid of science or math. So they don't participate. You don't have to know the answers to engage kids; you just have to let them know it's important.
The biggest challenge we all face is to learn about ourselves and to understand our strengths and weaknesses. We need to utilize our strengths, but not so much that we don't work on our weaknesses.
When I left NASA, I was looking at how you could use space technologies for developing countries' work.
I had great mentors in my parents who always sought to understand the world around them. And they would push me to really think things through.
I like to think of ideas as potential energy. They're really wonderful, but nothing will happen until we risk putting them into action.
I think science fiction helps us think about possibilities, to speculate -- it helps us look at our society from a different perspective. It lets us look at our mores, using science as the backdrop, as the game changer.
I wanted to be a professional dancer for a period of time, and I did a lot of dancing and choreography and got paid for it.
Sometimes people ask me how difficult the astronaut program was, but being in Sierra Leone, being responsible for the health of more than 200 people, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, at age 26 -- that prepared me to take on a lot of different challenges.
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