Essay about President John F. Kennedy´s Man on the Moon Challenge

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In 1961, the United States of America was embroiled in the Cold War with the Soviet Union. This confrontation was taking place not only on land, sea and air, but in space as well. On May 25th, 1961 recently elected US President John F. Kennedy addressed a joint session of Congress, during which he outlined his now famous Man on the Moon challenge. It was through this ambitious dream that the creation of the National Aeronautical Space Administration (NASA) came about, which President Kennedy challenged to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. Although he didn't live to see the achievement of his dreams, the United States successfully landed Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin on the moon on July 20, 1969 and…show more content…
The implications of the Soviet Union being ahead of the US in the space race went far beyond national prestige. As stated in the opening sentence, the US and the Soviet Union were in a non-shooting Cold War at the time of the speech. There was great concern that if the Soviet Union were to take a large lead in being able to put larger payloads into space, they could potentially place weapons there which would effectively nullify the US policy of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) as outlined by President Kennedy's Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara as early as 19614.

President Kennedy also took the opportunity to chide not only Congress but himself as well by stating "I believe we possess all the resources and talents necessary. But the facts of the matter are that we have never made the national decisions or marshaled the national resources required for such leadership. We have never specified long-range goals on an urgent time schedule, or
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