John F. Kennedy-American President from 1960-1963

John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy was the US President from 1960 until his assassination in 1963.  In 1961 he said that before the decade was over the goal of the United States and NASA was to get a man on the moon.

“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.”

The result of this speech was the Saturn V Rocket and the Apollo Programme. (For more information on the Saturn V Rocket click here.) There were 18 missions.  The first ended in disaster when the capsule caught fire killing all 3 Astronauts on board(Command Pilot Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Senior Pilot Edward H. White, and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee).  Gus Grissom was one of the original Mercury Astronauts and was the second American in space.

Over the folowing missions safety was improved and the lunar module was tested.  Finally the date was set and Apollo 11 was given the historic opportunity to be the first crew to land on the moon.

The Moon

The Moon