A Space Race expert claims that John F. Kennedy originally wanted to join the Soviet Union to put a man on the moon, and not that America would be the first country to continue the historic achievement.
Historian John Logsdon, a former member of NASA & # 39; s Advisory Board and founder of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University, told the Telegraph that Kennedy met with Soviet Union leader Nikita Khrushchev just 10 days after he announced his plan to send a manned mission to the moon in the decade during his famous Moon Shot speech to Congress in 1961.
At the meeting, Kennedy asked Khrushchev to work together to achieve the goal, but Khrushchev rejected him and prepared the way to the big Space Race according to Logsdon.
A historian said that John F. Kennedy (right) was serious when he asked the Nikita Khrushchev (left) of the Soviet Union to join forces by sending men to the moon in the 1960s
Kennedy made the first offer only 10 days after his 1961 Moon Shot speech for Congress. Khrushchev rejects the offer and settlement of the Space Race, which the US won in 1969 when the Apollo 11 mission landed on the moon in 1969 (shown)
& # 39; Kennedy met Khrushchev and said: & # 39; Why don't we do it together? & # 39; Khrushchev said no. I believe Kennedy took this initiative seriously. Others think it was propaganda, & Logsdon told the newspaper.
But two years later, in September 1963, Kennedy offered to cooperate again with the Soviet Union, this time during a speech to the United Nations.
The offer came when the Apollo program was about to be canceled and relations with the Soviet Union were improving following the invasion of the Bay of Pigs and the end of the Cuban Missile crisis.
Logson suggested that the reason behind the second attempt to work together was to reduce the costs and tensions between the two super forces.
During the apparently forgotten United Nations speech, Kennedy said: "There is room for new cooperation, for further joint efforts in regulation and space exploration."
Kennedy also said: & # 39; Why should man's first flight to the moon be a matter of national competition? Why would the United States and the Soviet Union prepare for such expeditions, get involved in immense duplications of research, construction, and spending?
Kennedy (on stage) made his second overture to Khrushchev during a speech at the United Nations in September 1963, just two months before he was murdered
Historian John Logsdon (left) believes that Kennedy & # 39; s invitation to cooperate with the Soviet Union was sincere. Logsdon wrote John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon (right)
& # 39; Of course we have to investigate whether the scientists and astronauts of our two countries – indeed of the whole world – cannot work together in the conquest of space, send a day to the moon in this decade and not the representatives of a single the representatives of all our countries. & # 39;
According to Logsdon, Khrushchev did not formally respond to Kennedy's invitation. Kennedy was murdered two months later, in November 1963.
& # 39; I believe Kennedy was serious about that offer & # 39 ;, Logsdon said, adding that if Kennedy had not been killed and & # 39; Khrushchev had said yes and remained in power, would Apollo have become a cooperative? Would he continue to pursue cooperation with the Soviet Union? & # 39;
Logsdon told the Telegraph that he believed Kennedy wanted to work with the Soviet Union on the Moon Shot.
# Could he have postponed it, given the likely political criticism of his initiative in the US? We will never know, & he said.
Author Roger Launius, who wrote Apollo & # 39; s Legacy: Perspectives on the Moon Landings, agreed with Logsdon.
& # 39; It is possible that only the Kennedy assassination on November 22 prevented a joint US-USSR landing, & Launius told the Telegraph.
However, not everyone is convinced that the range of partners was genuine.
However, others are less certain that Kennedy was seriously involved with the Soviets.
& # 39; I have heard rumors that Kennedy had planned a mission with the USSR, but I do not know how seriously we can take it & # 39 ;, said the Doug Millard of the Science Museum in London, who composed the Cosmonauts: birth from the Space Age exhibition.
Eventually the United States defeated the USSR, successfully landing men on the moon on July 20, 1969.
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