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This webpage features infamous quotes from "experts" in history who were very wrong and, indeed, resisted change. If you would like to send us a quote or correction, please use our Feedback page.

     Recent news - headlines, events, publications etc
     Upcoming events - meetings, missions, asteroid approaches etc
     Archives - older news etc archived for reference.


Be careful what you say about PERMANENT concepts and projects, because in the future someone may be quoting what YOU said on the record in digital history. What will your children and colleagues think in 2030 about what you said in 2013?

Read on and have a chuckle.

"... too far-fetched to be considered."

-- Editor of Scientific American, in a letter to Robert Goddard about Goddard's
idea of a rocket-accelerated airplane bomb, 1940
(German V2 missiles launched from mainland Europe bombed London 4 years later)

"Space travel is utter bilge."

-- Dr. Richard van der Reit Wooley, UK space advisor to the government, 1956
(Russia's Sputnik was successfully launched and orbited the Earth the following year)

"Space travel is bunk."

-- Sir Harold Spencer Jones, Astronomer Royal of the UK, 1957
(two weeks later Sputnik orbited the Earth)

"To place a man in a multi-stage rocket and project him into the controlling gravitational field of the moon where the passengers can make scientific observations, perhaps land alive, and then return to earth--all that constitutes a wild dream worthy of Jules Verne. I am bold enough to say that such a man-made voyage will never occur regardless of all future advances."

-- Lee deForest, American radio pioneer and inventor of the vacuum tube, 1957
(12 years later Americans walked on the Moon)

"There is practically no chance communications space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television, or radio service inside the United States."

-- T. Craven, FCC Commissioner, 1961
(the first commercial communications satellite went into service 4 years later in 1965)

Considering the threats of biotechnology and nanotechnology, review these quotes by leading nuclear physicists not long before we had the atom bomb:

"There is no likelihood that man can ever tap the power of the atom. The glib supposition of utilizing atomic energy when our coal has run out is a completely unscientific Utopian dream, a childish bug-a-boo."

-- Robert Millikan, American physicist and Nobel Prize winner, 1928

"There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean the atom would have to be shattered at will."

-- Albert Einstein, German-born American physicist, 1932

"The energy produced by the atom is a very poor kind of thing. Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformation of these atoms is talking moonshine."

-- Ernst Rutherford, New Zealand physicist, known as "the father of nuclear physics", 1933

"Atomic energy might be as good as our present-day explosives, but it is unlikely to produce anything very much more dangerous."

-- Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister, 1939
(the first atomic bomb was 6 years later in 1945)

"That is the biggest fool thing we have ever done [research on]... The bomb will never go off, and I speak as an expert in explosives."

-- William D. Leahy, U.S. Admiral, advising President Truman on atomic weaponry, 1944
(the first atomic bomb exploded the next year and two more were dropped on Japan)

"If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one."

-- W.C. Heuper, National Cancer Institute, 1954

Would you like to say something for the historical record? Do you have any relevant famous quotes to add or see any mistakes in our compilation? Go to the Feedback page and send us an e-mail. And remember...

"He who laughs last laughs longest."

-- Old Chinese proverb > Miscellaneous > Infamous Quotes (ROTFL)


PERMANENT needs a PHP / MySQL (actually, MariaDB) programmer. Are you a PHP / MySQL programmer interested in getting into space development as a career, or already working in space development? Or do you know somebody else who might be interested?

There is an ongoing process to update this website in 2019 with a target relaunch in 2020.
This website is actually very out of date. Much of the website text content was written in the 1980s to early 2000s, but that's a different matter. As regards PHP / MySQL, some offline databases go into the 2010s, as regards professional publications, engineers, companies, etc., and this is what we need programming help with. We are updating our databases on people, organizations, publications, and other things, for open source space development for all.

The current status is we have some working databases which we have been using internally for a long time for organizing professional publications, and to track people (authors, R&D people, other professionals, quality volunteers, journalists, etc.) and organizations. We want to put information online for the general public pending a security review of the programming code.

Step 1 is fixing some bugs in what we already have, the PHP code. It is functional, and been used a long time, but there are some bugs.
Step 2 will be improving the system. Some small improvements would help its usability.
Step 3 will be a security check for putting it online for the general public to be able to access and use, but with reasonable protection against hackers.
After Step 3, the main mission is accomplished, as regards PHP / MySQL, though of course we hope to keep people engaged and happy, and the sky's not the limit.

This is a volunteer, unpaid role at this point in time. A limited paid role would be considered on a tight budget, such as for at least bug fixing with some minor improvements, and/or a security review of our code before it goes online publicly. If you or one of your friends or associates may be interested, please send an email to spaceprogrammer at ... of course this domain.

Reasons to do something yourself:

  • It will help save life on our special planet -- be part of the solution in your generation.
  • It will create and secure a better future for your children and grandchildren.
  • It could be an interesting, cool, and a fun adventure for your life!

You can join us and volunteer to help out,

... or ...

If you're short on time, you can just donate:

The Permanent Space Development Foundation, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
If you would like to make a quick donation to our humanistic cause,
then please click on one of the buttons below (which go to PayPal).

... or by cryptocurrency (which is NOT tax deductible), you can donate into any of these wallets:





... or ...

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Text by Mark Prado, Copyright © 1983-2021, All Rights Reserved.
Many website artistic design elements by Sam Fraser, Copyright © 1999-2021, All Rights Reserved.

Except where specifically stated otherwise,
Copyright © 1983-2021 by Mark Evan Prado, All Rights Reserved


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