NASA Deputy Administrator Robert Seamans, von Braun and President Kennedy at Cape Canaveral

President Kennedy at Cape Canaveral

President John F. Kennedy, right, gets an explanation of the Saturn V launch system from Dr. Wernher von Braun, center, at Cape Canaveral in November 1963. NASA Deputy Administrator Robert Seamans is to the left of von Braun.

Fifty years ago, on Sept. 12, 1962, Kennedy gave an address at Rice University making the case for why the United States should go to the moon with the Apollo program, an initiative he’d launched the previous year. “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things,” said Kennedy, “not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

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Credit: NASA