John L. Phillips — American Astronaut born on April 15, 1951,

John Lynch Phillips, PhD is a NASA astronaut. Phillips is also a Naval Aviator and retired Captain, United States Navy Reserve. Phillips has received numerous awards and special honors. He is a National Merit Scholar, graduated 2nd in his class of 906 people at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1972. Phillips has also been awarded the NASA Space Flight Medal, NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the Gagarin Medal and several others. Phillips has logged over 4,400 flight hours and 250 aircraft carrier landings, flying the A-7 Corsair II carrier-based light attack aircraft while on active duty in the Regular Navy and subsequently during his time as a Navy Reservist from 1982 to 2002. At the time of his retirement, Phillips had retained the rank of Captain... (wikipedia)

A civilization that only looks inward will stagnate. We have to keep looking outward; we have to keep finding new avenues for human endeavor and human expression.
We're going to be focusing our science on things that will take us farther and longer into space. For many of those experiments, the crew members are human guinea pigs, which is fine; that's part of my job. I don't mind being a human guinea pig.
In the 19th Century people were looking for the Northwest Passage. Ships were lost and brave people were killed, but that doesn't mean we never went back to that part of the world again, and I consider it the same in space exploration.
It took me a long time to get selected as an astronaut. In fact, I applied for 20 years before I was selected.
There weren't any astronauts until I was about 10. Yuri Gagarin went into space right around my 10th birthday.