A young president inspires dreams of exploration.
>For knowledge in the wide and vast expanses of the unknown.
President Kennedy's Speech at Rice University-->
"The greater our knowledge increases, the greater our ignorance unfolds. Despite the striking fact that most of the scientists the world has ever known are alive and working today, despite the fact that this nation's own scientific manpower is doubling every 12 years in a rate of growth more than three times that of our population as a whole, despite that, the vast stretches of the unknown and the unanswered and the unfinished still far outstrip our collective comprehension.
No man can fully grasp how far and how fast we have come, but condense, if you will, the 50,000 years of man's recorded history in a time span of but a half-century. Stated in these terms, we know very little about the first 40 years, except at the end of them advanced man had learned to use the skins of animals to cover them.
Then about 10 years ago, under this standard, man emerged from his caves to construct other kinds of shelter. Only five years ago man learned to write and use a cart with wheels. Christianity began less than 2 years ago. The printing press came this year, and then less than 2 months ago,during this whole 50 year span of human history, the steam engine provided a new source of power. Last month, electric lights and telephones and automobiles and airplanes became available.
Only last week did we develop penicillin and television and nuclear power, and now if America's new spacecraft succeeds in reaching Venus, we will have literally reached the stars before midnight.
If this capsule history of our progress teaches us anything, it is that man, in his quest for knowledge and progress, is determined and cannot be deterred. The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join in it or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in the race for space.
✨For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace. We have vowed that we shall not see space filled with weapons of mass destruction, but with instruments of knowledge and understanding. ✨
Yet the vows of this nation can only be fulfilled if we in this nation are first, and, therefore, we intend to be FIRST.
*Attached is a scene from "Hidden Figures" the movie, which relates to what John F. said in his speech about being the First.*
In short, our leadership in science and in industry, our hopes for peace and security, our obligations to ourselves as well as others, all require us to put forth the effort needed to solve these mysteries for the good of all men, and to become the world's leading space-faring nation.
We set sail, on this new sea because there is knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of preeminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war.
But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why does Rice play Texas?
We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, 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, and one we intend to win, and the others, too."
-John F. Kennedy
We see the courage, wisdom, capability that one of our past young presidents set for our country to pursue. Now that 54 years have gone by since the moment he claimed these powerful and envisioning words, we may continue to pursue and work towards the advancement of our knowledge of the unknown. With the capability of extraordinary men and women that are developing in our country, we, united, can obtain the unimaginable. ✨