“First, 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 the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish. We propose to accelerate the development of the appropriate lunar space craft. We propose to develop alternate liquid and solid fuel boosters, much larger than any now being developed, until certain which is superior. We propose additional funds for other engine development and for unmanned explorations–explorations which are particularly important for one purpose which this nation will never overlook: the survival of the man who first makes this daring flight. But in a very real sense, it will not be one man going to the moon–if we make this judgment affirmatively, it will be an entire nation. For all of us must work to put him there.”
Special Message to the Congress on Urgent National Needs
President John F. Kennedy
Delivered in person before a joint session of Congress
May 25, 1961
“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, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”
–John F. Kennedy; September 12, 1962
40 years ago today, that mission–that dream, of JFK’s became a reality with the lift off of Apollo 11, the first manned mission to the moon. You can follow the entire mission at the interactive website, We Choose The Moon. I have to say I have spent a great deal of time at the site today, reliving the past and re-experiencing the inspiration.