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General Discussion => Historical Spaceflight => Topic started by: Coastal Ron on 11/21/2017 05:07 PM

Title: President Kennedy Audio Talking About The Priority Of Apollo
Post by: Coastal Ron on 11/21/2017 05:07 PM
Not sure if this is new old news, or old new news, but I just saw that there is an audio of JFK talking about going to the moon in a closed-door meeting with James Webb:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=178&v=xZFnTBSRKcg

It's interesting how clear Kennedy is on the priority of the Apollo effort, and how much the others in the room were very cautious. But from the last of the conversation (starting at 2:57):

Quote
KENNEDY: Everything that we do ought to really be tied in to getting onto the moon ahead of the Russians.

WEBB: Why can't it be tied to preeminence in space. Which are your own words...

KENNEDY: Because, by God, we've been telling everyone we're preeminent in space for five years and nobody believes it because they [USSR] have the booster and the satellite. But I do think we ought to get it, you know, really clear that the policy ought to be that this is the top priority program of the agency and one of the two, except for defense, the top priority of the United States government. I think that that's the position we ought to take.

No, this may not change anything about that schedule, but at least we ought to be clear, otherwise we shouldn't be spending this kind of money because I'm not that interested in space.

I think it's good. I think we ought to know about it. We're ready to spend reasonable amounts of money, but we're talking about fantastic expenditures which wreck our budget and all these other domestic programs and the only justification for it, in my opinion, to do it is because we hope to beat them and demonstrate that starting behind as we did by a couple of year, by God, we passed 'em.

This certainly helps to characterize what the goals of Apollo were, as well as our efforts in space in general, based on private conversations and not speeches.
Title: Re: President Kennedy Audio Talking About The Priority Of Apollo
Post by: Blackstar on 11/21/2017 05:18 PM
That's been around for awhile. Here is a NASA page (which really needs to be reformatted) that I set up for the agency many Moons ago. It provides a lot of background:

https://history.nasa.gov/JFK-Webbconv/pages/backgnd.html#intro

It includes the recording, a transcript, and other information.

https://history.nasa.gov/JFK-Webbconv/pages/backgnd.html#interest

Keep in mind that while Kennedy expressed his opinion in that recording, he later changed his view and came around more to Webb's argument. So this was a snapshot in time.