I was a kind of a one-man army. I could solder circuits together, I could turn out things on the lathe, I could work with rockets and balloons. I'm a kind of a hybrid between an engineer and a physicist and astronomer."
On his early career, "Grounded in Space Science", Interview with Rushworth M. Kidder, The Christian Science Monitor, page 14, December 22, 1989.
All this is very good in theory, but in practice, you take a piece of iron, wind a wire around it, then plug the wire in. The core gets hot, the wires smoke, and the fuse blows. So you see, there are practical limitations to theory.James Van AllenComments to an undergraduate physics class about transformers, Reach Into Space, Time, 1959-05-04.
As soon as we started looking at them, we saw the most remarkable situation. My first thought was, "Great guns! Something's gone wrong with the apparatus!" But then we got later North American tapes and everything seemed normal again.James Van AllenOn the first results from Explorer I, Reach Into Space, Time, 1959-05-04.
After a vast research program, which depended very heavily upon the use of a number of highspeed computers, I am pleased to offer you the result: "Space is that in which everything else is." In other words, "Space is the hole that we are in."James Van AllenOn the definition of space: Reach Into Space, Time, 1959-05-04.
A man is a fabulous nuisance in space right now. He's not worth all the cost of putting him up there and keeping him comfortable and working.James Van AllenOn men in space, Reach Into Space, Time, 1959-05-04.
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