Thirty-Fifth President: John F. Kennedy (1961-1963)
This photo depicts NASA Deputy Administrator Robert Seamans, Dr. Wernher von Braun and President Kennedy at Cape Canaveral. Dr. Wernher von Braun explains the Saturn Launch System to President John F. Kennedy.
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In a time of uncertainty at home and abroad, an American president proposes bold new steps in the exploration of space.
He calls for “longer strides” which “may hold the key to our future here on Earth.” He touts the potential of “even more exciting and ambitious exploration of space, perhaps beyond the moon, perhaps to the very end of the solar system itself.”
The year is 1961. The president is John F. Kennedy. But the words ring true today, as NASA once again aims for new frontiers with the Vision for Space Exploration.
Kennedy’s “Special Message to Congress on Urgent National Needs” came on May 25, just three weeks after Mercury astronaut Alan B. Shepard became the first American in space. Delivered at the height of the Cold War with the Soviet Union, the speech is best known for Kennedy’s audacious challenge to NASA and America:
"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth."
Read more here: nasa.gov