Why Do We Choose To Go To The Moon

"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard...” Those are the famous words spoken by President John F. Kennedy during his speech at Rice University. Kennedy uttered these words during the height of the Space Race. The Space Race is defined as the time period where the Soviet Union and the United States were fighting to see who could get man up into space first. Both nations also had their sight set on the moon. The United States wanted to get to the Moon as quickly as possible. They did not want to get caught off guard again as they had with the Russians launching Sputnik. After the end of World War II, tensions were at an all …show more content…
Without the Soviet Union launching Sputnik, the United States may have never feel threatened to "catch up" to the Russians and therefore there would have never been satellites or astronauts launched into space or to the moon. The United States decided to launch their own satellite, Explorer 1. It was launched on January 31st, 1958. Explorer 1 was developed by the U.S. Army Ballistic Missile Agency under the direction of Dr. Wernher von Braun. The Soviets and the Americans would go back and forth between launching their satellites. The Soviets finally decided to take the race one step further: they put the first ever man into space. The Soviets chose their cosmonauts from the Air Force. All cosmonauts selected had been fighter pilots for the Soviet Union. Yuri Gagarin was one of the fighter pilots chosen. On April 12, 1961, Vostok 1 lifted off into space with Gagarin aboard. Vostok 1 orbited around Earth once in 108 minutes. While the Soviets had sent the first man into space, they had serious issues with their rockets re-entering Earth 's atmosphere. Vostok 1 did not have a way to land safely so Gagarin had to eject. Gagarin had become a national hero in the Soviet Union. While the Soviets were celebrating Gagarin 's return, the Americans were about to send their fist …show more content…
Kennedy boldy announcing that the United States would land on the moon by the end of the 1960s. ” 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" were Kennedy 's exact words. Kennedy had not always been a supporter of space flight. The Soviet 's successes led him to put faith and resources into NASA so the United States could push space flight even further. Since the United States could not have the distinction of the first man in space, they were determined to lay claim to the first man on the moon. After Kennedy made this speech to Congress, NASA’s budget increased almost 500 percent. The Apollo program was built but not without its setbacks. On January 27th, 1967, during an Apollo 1 training mission, the space vehicle caught on fire. Three astronauts were killed by the pure oxygen environment and by inhaling the smoke. Gus Grissom, an astronaut selected in the first NASA group, Ed White, selected in the second NASA group, and Roger Chaffee, selected in the third NASA group, were all killed. Grissom and White had both been to space while Chaffee was new to the space program. This was the first blow suffered by NASA as is showed that space flight, even a test flight, could be fatal. Grissom once said, "If we die, we want people to accept it. We 're in a risky business, and we hope that if

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