Paper About The Apollo Missions.

1133 words - 5 pages

On July 20th, 1969 the America watched proudly as man set foot on the moon for the firsttime. Millions eagerly watched live as the Apollo 11 crew stepped onto the moons dry dustysurface and began exploring it. Some would say it was the single greatest technologicalachievement of all time and it changed the world forever. It was not only a quest for knowledgebut also a race against the soviets. America had never faced a challenge quite as difficult as thisone.As World War II ended, relations between the United States and the Soviet Union werebecoming more and more strained. This marked the beginning of what would be called the ColdWar. Several advancements were made by the Soviets in space exploration resulting in thesuccessful launching of the worlds first man made satellite in space, Sputnik, in 1957. The U.S.feared that with the new space technology developed by the Soviets they could spy on us or evenlaunch missles at us from outer space. As a result of U.S. concern, the government took severalactions to upgrade U.S. performance in science and mathematics. In addition, the governmentcreated NASA through the National Aeronautics and Space Act in 1958 to focus our country'sresources to catch and surpass the Soviets' space program. In 1961, John F. Kennedy made hisfamous speech where he promised to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade "notbecause it was easy but because it was hard". It would be mainly up to NASA to make thatpromise come true. ( 1961 the decision was made to go to the moon. By the time that the goal wasaccomplished in 1969, only few of the key figures associated with the decision were still inleadership positions in the government ( President Kennedywas assassinated in November of 1963, and science adviser Jerome B. Wiesner returned to MITsoon afterwards. Lyndon B. Johnson succeeded Kennedy as president but left office in January1969, just a few months before the landing took place. James E. Webb, the NASAAdministrator, boldly guided NASA through most of the 1960s, but his image was tarnished by,among other things, a 1967 Apollo 1 accident that tragically killed three astronauts.Consequently, he retired from office in October of 1968. Several other early supporters ofApollo in Congress and other places passed away during the 1960s before the program was fullycompleted ( many setbacks NASA had kept their space program going strong and in 1968they were ready to send the first manned American space craft to the moon for the Apollo 8mission. At first the mission had been planned as a flight to test Apollo hardware in therelatively safe confines of low-Earth orbit, but senior engineer George M. Low of the MannedSpacecraft Center at Houston, Texas, and Samuel C. Phillips, Apollo Program Manager atNASA Headquarters, obtained approval to make it a circumlunar flight, that is, around themoon. The advantages of this were...

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