the beginning . . . On   May   25,   1961,   President   John   F.   Kennedy   announced   before   a   special   joint   session   of Congress   the   dramatic   and   ambitious   goal   of   sending   an   American   safely   to   the   Moon   before the   end   of   the   decade. A   number   of   political   factors   affected   Kennedy's   decision   and   the   timing of   it.   In   general,   Kennedy   felt   great   pressure   to   have   the   United   States   "catch   up   to   and overtake"   the   Soviet   Union   in   the   "space   race."   Four   years   after   the   Sputnik   shock   of   1957,   the cosmonaut   Yuri   Gagarin   had   become   the   first   human   in   space   on   April   12,   1961,   greatly embarrassing   the   United   States   While   Alan   Shepard   became   the   first   American   in   space   on May   5,   he   only   flew   on   a   short   suborbital   flight   instead   of   orbiting   the   Earth,   as   Gagarin   had done.   In   addition,   the   Bay   of   Pigs   fiasco   in   mid-April   put   unquantifiable   pressure   on   Kennedy. He   wanted   to   announce   a   program   that   the   United   States   had   a   strong   chance   at   achieving before   the   Soviet   Union.   After   consulting   with   Vice   President   Johnson,   NASA   Administrator James   Webb,   and   other   officials,   he   concluded   that   landing   an   American   on   the   Moon   would be   a   very   challenging   technological   feat,   but   an   area   of   space   exploration   in   which   the   United States   actually   had   a   potential   lead.   Thus   the   cold   war   is   the   primary   contextual   lens   through which many historians now view Kennedy's speech. The   decision   involved   much   consideration   before   making   it   public,   as   well   as   enormous   human efforts   and   expenditures   to   make   what   became   Project   Apollo   a   reality   by   1969.   Only   the construction   of   the   Panama   Canal   in   modern   peacetime   and   the   Manhattan   Project   in   war were    comparable    in    scope.    NASA's    overall    human    spaceflight    efforts    were    guided    by Kennedy's   speech;   Projects   Mercury   (at   least   in   its   latter   stages),   Gemini,   and   Apollo   were designed   to   execute   Kennedy's   goal.   His   goal   was   achieved   on   July   20,   1969,   when Apollo   11 commander    Neil   Armstrong    stepped    off    the    Lunar    Module's    ladder    and    onto    the    Moon's surface. Source: NASA
ARIA History Website and Archive
Apollo Range Instrumentation Aircraft
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Advanced Range Instrumentation Aircraft
     United States Air Force
the beginning . . . On     May     25,     1961,     President     John     F.     Kennedy announced   before   a   special   joint   session   of   Congress the     dramatic     and     ambitious     goal     of     sending     an American    safely    to    the    Moon    before    the    end    of    the decade.     A     number     of     political     factors     affected Kennedy's    decision    and    the    timing    of    it.    In    general, Kennedy   felt   great   pressure   to   have   the   United   States "catch    up    to    and    overtake"    the    Soviet    Union    in    the "space    race."    Four    years    after    the    Sputnik    shock    of 1957,   the   cosmonaut   Yuri   Gagarin   had   become   the   first human   in   space   on April   12,   1961,   greatly   embarrassing the   United   States   While   Alan   Shepard   became   the   first American   in   space   on   May   5,   he   only   flew   on   a   short suborbital   flight   instead   of   orbiting   the   Earth,   as   Gagarin had   done.   In   addition,   the   Bay   of   Pigs   fiasco   in   mid- April    put    unquantifiable    pressure    on    Kennedy.    He wanted   to   announce   a   program   that   the   United   States had    a    strong    chance    at    achieving    before    the    Soviet Union.   After    consulting    with    Vice    President    Johnson, NASA   Administrator   James   Webb,   and   other   officials, he   concluded   that   landing   an   American   on   the   Moon would   be   a   very   challenging   technological   feat,   but   an area   of   space   exploration   in   which   the   United   States actually   had   a   potential   lead.   Thus   the   cold   war   is   the primary   contextual   lens   through   which   many   historians now view Kennedy's speech. The     decision     involved     much     consideration     before making   it   public,   as   well   as   enormous   human   efforts and   expenditures   to   make   what   became   Project   Apollo a   reality   by   1969.   Only   the   construction   of   the   Panama Canal   in   modern   peacetime   and   the   Manhattan   Project in    war    were    comparable    in    scope.    NASA's    overall human   spaceflight   efforts   were   guided   by   Kennedy's speech;   Projects   Mercury   (at   least   in   its   latter   stages), Gemini,     and     Apollo     were     designed     to     execute Kennedy's    goal.    His    goal    was    achieved    on    July    20, 1969,    when    Apollo    11    commander    Neil    Armstrong stepped   off   the   Lunar   Module's   ladder   and   onto   the Moon's surface. Source: NASA
ARIA History Website and Archive
      United States Air Force Apollo Range Instrumentation Aircraft Advanced Range Instrumentation Aircraft
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