Professor Kelly McMichael
October 20, 2012
Humankind has been able to conquer or push forward into every frontier it has set in front of them. This success is attributed to the due diligence and dedication of the human race to succeed. Those we see as heroes once had an idea. They were persistent, committed, and strong in everything they did. For these uncommon virtues, we recognize our heroes in history. President John F. Kennedy (JFK) stated, “…A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. Ideas have endurance without death…,” (Quotes, 2011). This was true especially in JFK’s goal in conquering space as the last final frontier and placing an American on the moon.
The title chosen, Provehito In Altum, has a loose translation meaning, “Launch forth into the deep,” also having other similar translations. Through technology and ingenuity, this is exactly what humankind has done. As a race, we have launched forth into the deep, into the unknown, making the impossible possible, and the unthinkable a reality. Over the next few pages, the research will discuss historical interpretations of space explorations, how the Cold War/diplomacies were affected, and how a simple idea has had a huge impact on humanity.
The rise of communism after World War II was considered a threat to the American way of life. Tensions were high between the U.S. and their fellow permanent member of the United Nations, the Soviets. After the politically stressful Bay of Pigs, President John F. Kennedy implemented the American goal of setting a man on the moon. Then evolving into a completely new era of space exploration and boom in technology that later reached the common civilian sector. In the early stages of the Cold War, the Soviets had already claimed victory with Sputnik and as well as putting the first man in space. John F. Kennedy’s speech before a Joint Session of congress on May 25, 1961 officially marked the finish line of, and helped fuel, the “Space Race” as landing a human on the moon and returning them safely (History, 2012). This is historically significant due to Space being an unexplored frontier and the demand for a technological revolution that was unimaginable. Not to mention the political pressure to “beat” the Soviets at something they were already winning at (and the Communist idea). The collateral impact of the decision of two international superpowers to go head to head in the race to the moon is immeasurable, even today with the continued exploration of space and relative missions as well as the emergence of technology such as GPS, satellites, etc. As soon as President Kennedy declared his intentions for the country to place an American on the moon, NASA’s budget began to increase exponentially over the years (NASA, 2012). This new program, injected with taxpayer dollars to help increase the speed of progress, became the headquarters for the frontier. Of course, this declaration also affected the Soviet’s efforts to prevent from falling behind. Spending from both nations dramatically increased, contracts where limitless, and work was available everywhere. This space race and the arms race, as negative as some of it may seem, had a positive impact on the global economy due to the increased employment rates, demand for highly qualified employees, and simply the injection of money into the economy as it continued to recover from the Great Depression that ended a couple of decades prior. NASA’s Apollo program was the program implemented to complete these challenging milestones with the ultimate goal of landing on the moon. Eight years after JFK set the national goal, Apollo 11 made history. Apollo 11 launched with a primary crew of Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin Jr., and Michael Collins (Apollo, 2009) but Collins did not land on the lunar surface because he stayed in lunar orbit with the command module. July 20th 1969 marked the