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Advanced Manned Space Flight Proposal for Project Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo, ca. 1962

Advanced Manned Space Flight Proposal for Project Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo, ca. 1962

A seemingly insurmountable vacuum of knowledge and technical skill lay between President John F. Kennedy’s proposal to land a man on the moon and the reality of American astronauts standing on the lunar surface. NASA decided to tackle these obstacles in three stages. NASA Administrator James E. Webb submitted this statement outlining the approach to the Senate Aeronautical and Space Sciences Committee. First, Project Mercury would send Americans into orbit to “determine men’s capabilities in the space environment and to develop the technology required for manned space flight.” Second, Project Gemini would test the rendezvous techniques necessary to achieve a round-trip from earth to the lunar surface and back. Third, Project Apollo would emerge from “the data developed in those earlier projects,” and ultimately land an American on the moon.

RG 46, Records of the U.S. Senate

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