The Space Race Essay
Shared space leadership is not a foregone conclusion, however.
On May 25, Kennedy threw down the gauntlet in an address to Congress. Shepard Jr., was rocketed 115 miles into space on May 5, 1961, becoming the first American space explorer.
"This nation," he declared, "should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to Earth." Thus began the Apollo Project. Shepard landed safely 302 miles out at sea 15 minutes after the launching. " he said, as he was flown by helicopter to the aircraft carrier Lake Champlain four miles away.
The space race, initiated in 1957 with the Soviet Union's launch of Sputnik, picked up speed after John F. When the Soviets leaped further ahead by launching the first man into orbit, Yuri A.
Gagarin, on April 12, 1961, the Kennedy Administration came up with an ambitious proposal: leapfrog the Russians with a mission to the Moon.