Astronaut John Glenn presented President Kennedy with this Model of the Mercury spacecraft Friendship 7 on Atlas 6 booster rocket, painted silver and red, on round black base.
The Friendship 7 model is at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, Massachusetts.
JFK Chooses the Moon
Today in history, President John F. Kennedy delivered a speech at Rice University on the nation’s space effort. In one of the most memorable passages JFK said:
"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…"
Images: Lunar sample made of mare basalt encased in a glass pyramid with rectangular base. This piece of moon rock was brought back to earth by Apollo 15 mission on August 7, 1971. The rock, called “breccia”, weighs 160 grams and is more than three billion years old. Courtesy of NASA Lunar Sample Display Program.
President John F. Kennedy Speaks at Rice University. 9/12/62.
"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,
because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills,
because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win … ”
President John F. Kennedy
Ike Signs the NASA Act - Today in History
On July 29, 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 establishing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Woot!
President Eisenhower Presents NASA Commissions to Dr. T. Keith Glennan as the first administrator for NASA and Dr. Hugh L. Dryden as deputy administrator. Courtesty of NASA.
Mr. Speaker, let us all salute Neil Armstrong, Ed Aldrin and Mike Collins and pray for a safe splashdown in the Pacific on Thursday. But let us also say a prayer for Roger Chaffee, Gus Grissom and Ed White and pay tribute to them for the heroic contributions they made so that Eagle might land on the moon and return to planet earth.
Statement by Representative Gerald R. Ford regarding the Apollo 11 space flight, placed in the body of the Congressional Record of Tuesday, July 22, 1969.
Let us all salute Neil Armstrong, Ed Aldrin, Mike Collins, Roger Chaffee, Gus Grissom and Ed White.
On July 29, 1958, President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 establishing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
NASA absorbed the earlier National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) which was a U.S. federal agency founded on March 3, 1915 for aeronautical research. On October 1, 1958, the agency was dissolved, and its assets and personnel formed the core of the newly created National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Photo courtesy of NASA: President Eisenhower presents NASA Commissions to Dr. T Keith Glennan, right, as the first administrator for NASA, and Dr. Hugh L. Dryden as deputy administrator.
Apollo 11 - This Week in History
Tomorrow is the 44th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon.
Soon after their historic steps, they received a phone call from President Nixon in the Oval Office. To celebrate the occasion, we’re teaming up with the NASA History Office to tweet out the lunar call between the President and astronauts.
Photo: Edwin E. (Buzz) Aldrin, Jr. standing on the moon next to the U.S. flag, 7/20/1969.
"We sometimes joked, ‘You don’t climb into the Mercury spacecraft, you put it on.’ You squeeze past all the gear that is mounted inside, like a man sliding under a bed."
-John Glenn, 1962
Here’s John Glenn being inserted into the Friendship 7 spacecraft on the day of his launch as the first U.S. astronaut to orbit earth. February 20, 1962.
Described as a claustrophobic’s nightmare, the Mercury capsule had just barely enough room for its pilot. The capsule’s escape tower had a solid rocket motor. In case of an explosion during the launch, that rocket would fire, lifting the capsule (with the astronaut) away from the explosion. The capsule would then parachute into the ocean.
The base of the capsule was covered with a heat shield to protect it from the 3000-degree (Fahrenheit) heat of reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere. The capsule sat on top of the Atlas 6 rocket (95 feet tall, and 10 feet in diameter) which boosted the Friendship 7 into space.
Happy 92nd Birthday John Glenn!
"IN EVENT OF MOON DISASTER"
For the Apollo 11 space flight, President Nixon’s speechwriter William Safire composed this statement on July 18, 1969. It was to be used in the event the astronauts were stranded on the Moon and could not return to Earth.
Neil Armstrong later said, “The unknowns were rampant” and “there were just a thousand things to worry about.”
Fortunately, the speech as was never used, and this Saturday will be the 44th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. After astronauts Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon, President Nixon phoned them for “an interplanetary conversation.”
On July 20, The Presidential Libraries and NASA’s History Office are celebrating the Apollo 11 anniversary by tweeting out the lunar phone call between the President and astronauts. We’ll be tweeting from @OurPresidents and @NASAHistory.
Join us Saturday at noon by following #LunarCall on Twitter!