Aeronautics Astronautics

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By J. Logsdon

On could 25, 1961, President John Kennedy declared:  “I think that this state should still devote itself to reaching the objective, prior to this decade is out, of touchdown a guy at the moon and returning him properly to earth.” Over his ultimate time within the White condo, JFK actively concerned himself in house judgements and a number of other instances reviewed his selection to visit the Moon, whenever concluding that the advantages of being the chief in area outweighed the big charges of the lunar touchdown enterprise. Logsdon lines the evolution of JFK's pondering and coverage up until eventually his assassination, which delivered to an finish his reexamination of the program's objective and time table and his hope to collaborate, instead of compete, with the Soviet Union in going to the Moon. This learn, in line with wide examine in fundamental records and archival interviews with key individuals of the Kennedy management, is the definitive exam of John Kennedy’s position in sending americans to the Moon.

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He also comments that “I had no real aptitude for science and astronomy . . ” Sorensen later suggested that this “was just freewheeling speculation as to whether I would have a post and what would be the most suitable post for me. ” 9 18 J O H N F. K EN N E DY A N D T H E R A C E T O T H E M O O N After this November 10 meeting, the exhausted president-elect did not return to active engagement with the transition process until the end of the month, although Clifford, Sorensen, and others were meeting during this period with their counterparts in the Eisenhower administration.

On that latter date, sixty additional key policy posts and several hundred more other key positions remained to be filled. As he met with Neustadt and Clifford while the search for the people to fill administration positions continued, Kennedy complained about the difficulty of finding the best individuals to staff his “ministry of talent,” saying: “People, people, people! I don’t know any people. ”10 To help him understand the issues he would confront in the White House, the president-elect had during the campaign commissioned seven task forces; in December, an additional nineteen more were added, and three more in January.

Even so, the report noted that “too few of the country’s outstanding scientists and engineers” were working in the space field. ” The Wiesner task force called Project Mercury “marginal,” as had the PSAC report a month earlier, and pointed out that it was “very unlikely” 34 J O H N F. K EN N E DY A N D T H E R A C E T O T H E M O O N that the United States would be first to send an astronaut to orbit. Echoing the PSAC position, it was critical of the relative priorities given to human and robotic flight: “The acquisition of new knowledge and the enrichment of human life through technological advances are solid, durable and worthwhile goals of space activities .

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