25.05.

1961: President Kennedy Announces the Apollo Program

1961: President Kennedy Announces the Apollo Program
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/ President Kennedy delivers his proposal to put a man on the Moon before a joint session of Congress

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 25 May 1961
  • At the time, the Apollo program was the most expensive U.S. project which was undertaken during peacetime. At its highpoint, 400,000 people worked on the project, and about 20,000 companies were engaged.

On this day in 1961, the U.S. President John F. Kennedy delivered a speech in which he announced the Apollo program.

Namely, he announced that the United States would send a man to the Moon before the end of the decade, (1969 was their last option). Those who were aware of certain circumstances knew that was a risky claim to make. At the time, the USA hadn’t even managed to send a man into orbit around the Earth, and the Soviets had already done that (on 12 April 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human to journey into outer space).

Therefore, the USSR had the mentioned advantage, and Kennedy announced the space project, and spending large amounts of money.

He called it the most impressive project, the most important in terms of further space exploration, but also the most expensive and most difficult project to perform.

The Apollo program was the most expensive U.S. project which was undertaken during peacetime. At its height, 400,000 people worked on the project, and about 20,000 companies were engaged. The goal was accomplished – the first humans landed on the Moon, and successfully returned to Earth. President Kennedy was killed in 1963.

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