Apollo Expeditions to the Moon



In the 1950s, when the U.S.S.R. demonstrated rocket engines powerful enough to carry atomic weapons over intercontinental distances, it became clear to United States and free world political and military leaders that we had to add technological strength in rocketry and know-how in the use of space systems to our defense base if we were to play a decisive role in world affairs.

Alfred McAdams, RANGE SAFETY, watercolor on paper.
From here a straying rocket would be destroyed.

In the United States the first decision was to give this job to our military services. They did it well. Atlas, Titan, Minuteman, and Polaris missiles rapidly added rocket power to the basic air and atomic power that we were pledged to use to support longheld objectives of world stability, peace, and progress.

The establishment of the Atomic Energy Commission as a civilian agency had emphasized in the 1940s our hope that nuclear technology could become a major force for peaceful purposes as well as for defense. In 1958 the establishment of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, again as a civilian agency, emphasized our hope that space could be developed for peaceful purposes. NASA was specifically charged with the expansion into space of our high level of aeronautical know-how. It was made responsible for research and development that would both increase our space know-how for military use, if needed, and would enlarge our ability to use space in cooperation with other nations for "peaceful purposes for the benefit of all mankind."

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