Download After Apollo?: Richard Nixon and the American Space Program by John M. Logsdon PDF
By John M. Logsdon
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Extra info for After Apollo?: Richard Nixon and the American Space Program
The excitement of Apollo 11 had barely begun to diminish when on September 15 President Nixon received the report of the “Space Task Group” he had created in February 1969 to recommend the course of the post-Apollo space program. That report laid out an ambitious plan, culminating in human trips to Mars sometime in the next 15 years. The president was soon to decide that the nation neither wanted nor could afford that kind of ambition in space. S. space program was still in the future as Richard Nixon and his associates made sure that the president was closely identified with the success of Apollo 11, even though he had only the good fortune to be the occupant of the White House when the lunar landing occurred.
This “would force the crew to stand at attention for some two and one-half minutes. ”24 President Nixon met with Haldeman, Flanigan, Chapin, and Borman on July 14 to discuss plans for his involvement. ” The plan at this point was for the president to go to either the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston or the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for his phone call to the astronauts on the Moon; Nixon’s long-time personal secretary Rose Mary Woods suggested that the call should instead come from the Oval Office, and the president agreed.
Waited on the bridge for an hour or so until we could see the helicopters over the capsule and raft in the sea. We steamed toward them. Watched the pickup, first through binoculars, then with naked eye. P [the president] was exuberant, really cranked up, like a little kid. Watched everything, soaked it all up. Then the pickup helicopter landed on deck. Then down to the hangar deck for P chat with the astronauts in quarantine chamber. Great show. He was very excited, personal, perfect approach.