Legacy of Apollo

  • Pat Norris
Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)


The May 1961 decision to send men to the Moon was taken on Cold War strategic political grounds. The main motivation was not to advance science or to explore the universe. President Kennedy was blunt about this in a discussion with the head of NASA, James Webb, a year and a half later: “The Soviet Union has made this a test of the system. Everything that [NASA] do ought to really be tied into getting onto the Moon ahead of the Russians. This is the way to prove your pre-eminence.” Other space programs were of little or no interest to Kennedy because they didn’t address this political objective of global pre-eminence: “All these programs which contribute to the lunar program [that] are essential to the success of the lunar program, are justified. Those that are not essential to the lunar program, that help contribute over a broad spectrum to our preeminence in space, are secondary.”


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    Crawford, I. A., “The Scientific Legacy of Apollo”, Astronomy and Geophysics (Vol. 53, pp. 6.24-6.28).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    National Research Council (NRC), The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon, National Academies Press (Washington DC), 2007.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pat Norris
    • 1
  1. 1.ByfleetUK

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