Selling Outer Space: Kennedy, the Media, and Funding for Project Apollo, 1961-1963
In the early 1960s, the Kennedy administration's public campaign to sell Project Apollo met with little opposition from Congress, the media, or the public. Only in the aftermath of space disasters like the Challenger explosion have Americans seriously questioned the primacy - or even the need - for human beings to explore outer space. This book examines the Kennedy administration's rhetoric to understand why Project Apollo received so little opposition.
Although the Kennedy administration advanced a number of political, scientific, military, and economic arguments for a manned moon mission, its rhetoric ultimately "sold" the space project as a great frontier adventure story with deep roots in American history and culture. The administration enticed Congress, the media, and the public to think of Project Apollo not in "logical" terms, but as a reaffirmation of the romantic American frontier myth.
By describing space as the New Frontier, the Kennedy administration shaped the way Americans interpreted and gave meaning to space exploration for years to come. The frontier narrative subsumed arguments about the technology and economics of the program, and it established a presumption in favor of massive commitments of the nation's resources to staffed space flight. The continuing influence of the frontier mythology is perhaps nowhere more evident than in the decision to develop the space shuttle program. Ultimately, the shuttle's attraction may have been the symbolic importance of the fact that the astronauts flew the craft as a plane, thereby reaffirming the rugged individualism and daring of the frontier myth.
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The Kennedy Administrations Lunar Campaign
The Kennedy Administration and the New Frontier
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1962 NASA Authorization Aeronautics and Space Alan Shepard America's space American argued arguments astro astronauts August budget capsule challenged committee members Committee on Science Cong congressional space committees contract critics Dryden example February floor debates frontier mythology frontier narrative Fulbright Fulton Glenn's flight Gordon Cooper Grissom Gus Grissom hero human Independent Offices Appropriations James Webb John Dille John Glenn John W Finney Johnson Kennedy administration Kennedy administration's Kennedy's Loudon Wainwright Luce lunar landing machine magazine magazine's members of Congress Mercury-Atlas 9 military moon mission moon shot NASA History Office NASA officials national security Newsweek October Orbital Flight outer space photographs pilot pioneers political prestige Project Apollo Project Mercury proposed Public Papers question rhetoric role Schirra Science and Astronautics scientific scientists Scott Carpenter Senate Soviets space effort space exploration space flight space program spacecraft speech Teague testimony Thomas Pelly tion U.S. Congress unmanned York