On This Day: Apollo Set in Motion

25 May 2016

On this day, fifty-five years ago, US President John F. Kennedy gave a speech to the US congress in which he lit the blue touch paper on the greatest journey the human race has thus far undertaken.

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

It is staggering to think that a little more than eight years after those historic words, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were walking on the surface of the Moon. Although one can argue that the Space Race had as much, if not more, to do with political point scoring against the Soviet Union as it had to do with the genuine human need to explore, the Apollo programme remains one of the great achievements of modern times.

About Darren Nash

I'm Digital Publisher at Gollancz, responsible for the SF Gateway and SF Masterworks. Digitally, I can be found here, on Twitter at @SFGateway (officially) and @thenashmeister (unofficially). In meat space, I operate from a secret base inside a dormant volcano, on a remote pacific island that - mysteriously - doesn't appear on any official maps. Possibly. View all posts by Darren Nash → This entry was posted in Anniversaries, The Science Fictional World and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to On This Day: Apollo Set in Motion

  1. An historic date, to be sure, though Apollo had been in the news for some time before Kennedy’s speech. I imagine it provided additional budget impetus, however.

    • True. As we understand it, pre-Kennedy Apollo was the successor to Mercury – but three-person flights as opposed to Mercury’s one. After Kennedy’s decision it was repurposed to the goal of “landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth”.

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