Kennedy's Speech to Congress Requesting Funds for the Space Program

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.

Secondly, an additional 23 million dollars, together with 7 million dollars already available, will accelerate development of the Rover nuclear rocket. This gives promise of some day providing a means for even more exciting and ambitious exploration of space, perhaps beyond the Moon, perhaps to the very end of the solar system itself.

Third, an additional 50 million dollars will make the most of our present leadership, by accelerating the use of space satellites for world-wide communications.

Fourth, an additional 75 million dollars--of which 53 million dollars is for the Weather Bureau--will help give us at the earliest possible time a satellite system for world-wide 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 and the country to accept a firm commitment to a new course of action--a course which will last for many years and carry very heavy costs: 531 million dollars in fiscal '62--an estimated seven to nine billion dollars additional over the next five years. If we are to go only half way, of reduce our sights in the face of difficulty, in my judgment it would be better not to go at all.


Quite amazing what he was asking for here. Could such an endeavor be engaged by the nation again today?

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 Urgent National Needs
Audiovisual Media>Live Performance:  Kennedy, John F. (May 25, 1961), Urgent National Needs, Joint Session of Congress, Washington DC, Retrieved on 2011-03-03
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: vision space space exploration


    03 MAR 2011

     The Audacity of Kennedy's Mission to the Moon

    Kennedy\'s Speech to Congress Requesting Funds for the Space Program > Emphasis > Carl Sagan on the Audacity of John F. Kennedy\'s Moon Mission Proposal
    Looking at what Kennedy was asking for from the perspective of today's politics, it's amazing how different things were then and today.