“I believe that this nation should commit
itself to achieving the goal, before this decade
is out, of landing a man on the Moon and
returning him safely to the Earth.”
–President John F Kennedy
Establishing supremacy in the space was also contested hotly between the US and USSR.
In cold war days, every walk of life was subject to competition between the US and USSR. Even space was not spared. USSR took the first step to conquer space by launching Sputnik 1, which was an artificial satellite. Russian lead sent shockwaves around the world and the hardest hit was to USA. A lot of people at the time called Sputnik a technological Pearl Harbour. Before this event, the United States was not racing USSR in the space. Right after one month, USSR launched another satellite named Sputnik 2. Launching one satellite after another triggered the space race between the cold war rivals.
The United States’ president John F Kennedy founded the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (or NASA) 9 months after Sputnik’s launch, on July 29, 1958. This agency aimed to deliver what the president said on air media to land on the moon within one year. This action itself explained the desperation of the moment, which simultaneously was affecting the war between superpowers. This competition was not only consuming the massive time in research but was also using a significant chunk of the finances from both sides so from this point onwards there was no point of return for both the sides. Some conspiracy theorists also believe the moon landing was a hoax just to beat USSR in the space war.