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Audio of John F. Kennedy Speech

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Finally, if we are to win the battle, it is now going on around the world between freedom and tyranny. The dramatic achievements in space which occurred in recent weeks, should have made clear to us all, as did the Sputnik in 1957 the impact off this adventure on the minds of men everywhere who are attempting to make a determination off which road they should take. Since early in my term, our efforts in space have been under review with the advice of the vice president who is chairman of the National Space Council. We have examined where we're strong and where we are, not where we may succeed and where we may not. Now it is time to take longest drives time for a great new American enterprise, time for this nation to take a clearly leading role in space achievement, which in many ways may hold the key to our future on Earth. I believe we possessed all the resource is and talents necessary, but the fact of the matter are that we have never made the national decisions or marshal the national reach. Court sources required for such leadership. We have never specified long range goals on an urgent time schedule or managed. Our resource is in our time. So is to ensure their fulfillment, recognizing the head start obtained by the Soviets with their large rocket engines, which gives them many months of lead time and recognizing the likelihood that they will exploit this lead for some time to come in still more impressive successes, we nevertheless were required to make new efforts on our own. For while we cannot guarantee that we shall one day be first, we can guarantee that any failure to make this effort will make us lost. We take an additional risk by making it in full view of the world, but is shown by the feet of astronaut Shepard. This very risk enhances our stature when we are successful. But this is not merely a race. Space is open to us now, and our eagerness to share its meaning is not governed by the efforts of others. We go into space because whatever mankind must undertake, Freeman must fully share. I therefore, ask the Congress above and beyond the increases. I have earlier requested for space activities to provide the funds which it needed to meet the following national goals. 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 proposed to accelerate the development of the appropriate Luna spacecraft. We proposed 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 exploration expirations 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. We make this judgment affirmatively. It will be an entire nation, for all of us must work to put in there. Secondly, an additional $23 million together with $7 million already available, will accelerate development of the rover nuclear rocket. This gives promise off someday, providing a means for even more exciting an ambitious exploration of space craft beyond the moon back to the very end of the solar system itself. Third, an additional $50 million will make the most of our present leadership by accelerating the use of space satellites. The Worldwide Communications Fourth. An additional $75 million of which $53 million is for the weather bureau will help give us, at the earliest possible time a satellite system for worldwide weather observation. Let it be clear, and this is a judgment which the members of the Congress must finally make. Let it be clear that I am asking the Congress in the country to accept a firm commitment to a new course of action, a cost which were lost for many years and carry very heavy course. $531 million in fiscal 62 an estimated 7 to $9 billion additional over the next five years. If we ought to go only halfway or reduce our sites in the face of difficulty, in my judgment, it would be better not to go it all. Now this is a choice which this country must make. And I'm confident that under the leadership of the base committees of the Congress and the appropriating committees that you will consider the matter calf. It is a most important decision that we make is a nation. But all of you have lived through the last four years and have seen the significance of space and the adventures in space, and no one can predict with certainty what the element meaning will be off mastery of space. I believe we should go to the moon. But I think every citizen of this country as well as the members of the Congress, should consider the matter calf in making their judgment which we have given attention over many weeks and months because it is a heavy burden and there is no sense in agreeing or desire in the United States taken affirmative position in outer space unless we're prepared to do the work and bear the burdens to make it successful. If we are not, we should decide today, Theo. This decision demands a major national committee of scientific and technical manpower material and facilities, the possibility of their diversion from other important activities where there already thinly and script. That means the degree of dedication, organization and discipline which have not always characterized our research and development efforts means we cannot afford undue work stoppages, inflated course of material or talent, wasteful interagency rivals or ah, high turnover of key personnel. New objectives and new money cannot solve these problems. They could, in fact aggravate come further unless every scientist, every engineer, every serviceman, every technician, contractor and civil servant gives his personal pledge that this nation will move forward with a full speed of freedom in the exciting adventure of space.
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