Apollo Program

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Topics: Apollo program
Michael Penwarden
Phillip Whitworth
6/20/13
Senior paper
"No nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in this race for space...We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”- John F. Kennedy. The Apollo missions had one main goal, to land on the moon and get back to earth safely. Apollo was the third space flight program after Project Gemini and Project Mercury, flown by NASA (National Astronautics and Space Administration). The program started in 1967 and was able to land humans on the moon by 1972. The Apollo missions had important effects on technologies and the nation as a result of Kennedy’s dream to put a man on the moon; they are an important part of our history. (Smithsonian)
John F. Kennedy was the president who decided on the space program in 1960. President Kennedy announced to Congress that he wanted to “safely go to the moon before the end of the decade”, he announced in 1961. This announcement was manly for political reasons, at the time the U.S. and the Soviet Union where in the middle of the cold war and the “space race”. Kennedy wanted the U.S. to catch up and overtake the Soviet Union in the “space race”. (Haugen)
The Soviet Union had launched Sputnik into orbit into 1957 and put the first cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin into space only four years after their satellite! Space was a big deal during the cold war because the U.S. citizens feared the Soviets using their better space program as a weapon against the U.S. This was a pivotal point in the war as the U.S. felt great pressure to beat the Soviet Union in the “space race”. (Lembeck)
The Mercury program was the first step in getting to the moon. The Mercury Program’s goal was to put an American into orbit before the Soviets. It ran from 1959 to 1963 and was part of the early “space race”. The rocket only supported one astronaut inside a capsule in orbit; Alan Shepard was the

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