Origin of the Apollo Program Essay

Origin of the Apollo Program Essay

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Origin of the Apollo Program
Every American has come to associate the Apollo programs and its missions with the moon. They have heard of the adventures and missions of various Apollo missions, from Apollo 11, the first moon landing, to the horrific yet successful outcome of Apollo 13. Yet, beyond the actual landing of these missions, little is known about the origins and the accomplishments these missions have done for the nation. The program begins during the Presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower, where the Apollo Program was established with its focus on the three-man spacecraft that would follow the one-man Project Mercury which put the first Americans in space. The program would be later dedicated to President John F. Kennedy as exemplified in his speech, May 25th 1961, where the ultimate goal of the Space Race was redefined, and support for the Apollo Program and the moon would be made known:
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 in the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish. (Kennedy)
When Kennedy uttered those very words, the Space Race was already in session between the two Cold War rivals, the United States (US) and the Soviet Union (USSR). This aspiration to reach the moon in Kennedy eyes was not a means for astronomical advancement, rather solely motivated by the cold war competition to hold the greatest scientific and technological power and military superiority. The United States after having been outdone by the Soviet Union who had successfully launched...


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...Executive Order merged the LOD and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. With the Apollo Program moving in the direction of a lunar landing, it was necessary to further expand the program and increase the organization with new test facilities and research laboratories that would better the pace of technology development. Thus the Mission Control Center (MCS) was established in Houston, Texas, where it would be the primary flight control center for all U.S manned space missions. In 1973, the MSC was renamed in honor of Lyndon Johnson, as Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. The Center would house NASA's astronaut operations, and would also be the site of the Lunar Receiving Laboratory, where astronauts returning from the moon would be quarantined. Along with the housing of astronauts, the majority of lunar samples retrieved from lunar missions would be stored in the facility.

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