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Astronauts reply to Bush's space plan

January 15, 2004 -- Astronauts, both active and retired, react to President Bush's vision for space exploration:

"I feel fortunate to be part of this agency's historic legacy but I also know the NASA journey is just beginning." -- Expedition 8 crew member Michael Foale, speaking from on board the International Space Station

"I think that's the most refreshing, logical thing a leader could say... People are explorers... That is what our nature has been.... The returns have been so far beyond what people would imagine." -- X-15 and Space Shuttle pilot Joe Engle, speaking to The Wichita Eagle

"I hope that by the president making this announcement, he'll put the horsepower behind it and sustain it for the long run." -- Payload Specialist Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), from the Associated Press

"But developing the technologies is crucial. I think we can do that very cheaply and very fast." -- Moonwalker and Space Shuttle Columbia's first commander John Young, from the Associated Press

"He said he once again wants to make NASA relevant. That says a lot." -- Gemini and Apollo astronaut, "the last man on the Moon" Eugene Cernan, Associated Press

"I'm glad to see that we got the president even talking about NASA. Where I am disappointed, is that I'd like to see something more aggressive... and that's not very aggressive." -- Apollo 7 astronaut Walt Cunningham, in an interview with Florida Today

"There are certain jobs that had to be done before you could go to the Moon. There are certain jobs that have to be done before you could go from the Moon to Mars and they're pretty big steps in my estimation and they're expensive." -- first American to orbit, oldest astronaut, and former Senator John Glenn, in a live interview with CNN's NewsNight with Aaron Brown

"That's a thrill, I, you know, and my spirits are lifted, going back to the moon, and not just going back and touching the moon, but going and colonizing another heavenly body with a permanent presence. I'm sure every astronaut in the room has got their hand up saying, I'll take that mission." -- Mir station resident Jerry Linenger, speaking with Brian Williams on MSNBC

"President Bush's new plan for NASA is both visionary and exciting. It will be a positive for the country and for Florida. Building a space station on the moon and sending astronauts to Mars is the right next bold step for the future of space exploration. This will reinvigorate the space program." -- Former shuttle mission specialist and Director of the Florida Space Authority Winston Scott, in a press statement.

"What's important is that we participate in this world exploration of the rest of the universe and Canada needs to choose where in that part we're going to be." -- Canadian Space Agency two-time shuttle astronaut Chris Hadfield, speaking to Canada AM.

"The space shuttle has flown well over 100 times in space and everyone's a human being -- if you do something over 100 times, you say 'OK, what's the next move?, What's the next move?'" -- first Australian in space Paul Scully-Power, speaking to ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

"There are a lot of hurdles to get there, but I think as time goes on, we're going to realize we really need to get out into space and figure out what's there. If you don't push yourself to do something, you're not going to accomplish anything." Apollo 15 Command Module Pilot Al Worden, speaking with Press Journal

"A great day in the history of this nation." ISS Expedition 4 crew member Daniel Bursch to the Associated Press

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