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Space the New Frontier

Space the New Frontier

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Published by Bob Andrepont

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Published by: Bob Andrepont on Feb 27, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Source of Acquisition
D. C.
THE AGE OF SPACE If there has been a single factor reEponsible for our
success over the past two hundred years, it has been the characteristic American
confidence in the future. It was such a confidence which brought the first
colonists westward across the Atlantic to settle the Eastern shores. It was thatsame confidence which brought other generations westward across the continentto build up our country all the way to the Pacific. * Today there are thosewho argue that we should not push forward into new realms or new enterprisesexcept when there is clear evidence of competition from other nations.I believe the American people reject the concept that their future shall be
measured by the reaction to accomplishments of others. * America's commitment
to the exploration of space for peaceful purposes is a firm commitment. We will
not retreat from our national purpose. We will not be turned aside inour national effort by those who would attempt to divert us. * Our nationalpurpose in space is peace—not just prestige.
The U.S. Space Program was undertaken in 1958,
and accelerated because three Presidents and the Congress considered it
basic to our national strength and essential to our continued leadership
of the free world. * Among the major motivations of the space program is
the necessity that we retain unquestioned preeminence in all areas ofscience and technology, including the new arena of space. Others include the
demands of national security, the potential economic benefits of space technology,the anticipated new scientific knowledge which exploration of space would yield,and finally, the stimulating effects of this challenging national enterprise
on all segments of American society, particularly the young. * During the
intervening years, the United States has made great progress in building the
basic structure for preeminence in space. This is the structure which will, within
this decade, enable man to explore the moon. Even more important, however,it is the structure which will give the Nation the capability to operate in and usespace for whatever purpose the national interest may require—whether it be
operations in near-earth orbit, or the search for extraterrestrial life
on the planets beyond. * Among the important benefits of the hard-drivingspace program now underway are: Development of high-thrust boosterswith payload capabilities exceeding any others now known to exist.
Development of superior guidance and control, the perfection of rendezvous
and docking techniquesthe ability to join two space craft in orbit at 18,000miles an hour—and the ability to maneuver accurately in the space environment.Establishment of a structure of massive ground facilities to assemble, test, and
launch space vehicles which will serve the Nation's needs for many years to
come. '* Development of a strong industrial base which will be able to undertake
the development and manufacture of any space systems required in future years. ^
The development of great scientific competence in the Nation's universities
and research laboratories on a broad basis throughout the Nation.
of scientists and engineers through the conduct of basic research in the universities,
and support of predoctoral training grants. '* Establishment of a reservoir of
technicians in industry, training of astronauts and of military personnel for
future needs in space. * For the first time in the history of mankind
the opportunity to leave the earth and explore the solar system is at hand.
Only two nations, the United States and the Soviet Union, today have the resources
with which to exploit this opportunity. Were we, as the symbol of democraticgovernment, to surrender this opportunity to the leading advocate of the
Communist ideology, we could no longer stand large in our own image, or in
the image that other nations have of us and of the free society we represent.
NASA Administrator

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