John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon
This essay contains my assessment of what Kennedy’s commitment to the race to the Moon tells us about how John F. Kennedy carried out his duties as President of the United States; asks whether such a presidentially directed large-scale undertaking can serve as a model for other such efforts; and evaluates the several impacts of Project Apollo. I carry out this last evaluation in terms of how well Apollo served the objectives sought by President Kennedy in sending Americans to the lunar surface, in terms of its impact on the evolution of the U.S. space program since the end of Project Apollo, and in terms of how humanity’s first journeys beyond the immediate vicinity of their home planet will be viewed in the long sweep of history.
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