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John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and the American Space Program​ - SSP17 Event

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CIT School of Music

Union Quay

Ballintemple

T12 E9HY Cork

Ireland

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Two U.S. presidents, John Kennedy and Richard Nixon, made decisions that have had a lasting impact on the U.S. space program. Kennedy, of course, set as a national goal landing humans on the Moon before the end of the decade of the 1960s, and followed that decision with the mobilization of human and financial resources to achieve that goal. Richard Nixon was president in 1969 when Apollo 11 reached the Moon. Over the subsequent three years he decided to lower the priority of the space program, and thus its future budgets, and to approve as the central post-Apollo the space shuttle, thereby limiting human spaceflight to low Earth orbit since the last Apollo mission left the Moon in December 1972.

This talk will discuss the reasoning behind the space policy decisions of John Kennedy and Richard Nixon. The combined effect of their decisions to a large degree has shaped the space program that the United States has carried out over the past 45 years. The talk will feature audio and video clips and draw upon original documents reflecting both presidents’ decisions. It will be based on two award-winning books by John M. Logsdon, John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon (2010) and After Apollo? Richard Nixon and the American Space Program (2015). A limited number of copies of each book will be available for purchase and signing after the lecture.

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Location

CIT School of Music

Union Quay

Ballintemple

T12 E9HY Cork

Ireland

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