We Choose To Go To The Moon…
First, 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.
No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish. We propose to accelerate the development of the appropriate lunar space craft.
We propose to develop alternate liquid and solid fuel boosters, much larger than any now being developed, until certain which is superior. We propose additional funds for other engine development and for unmanned explorations — explorations which are particularly important for one purpose which this nation will never overlook: the survival of the man who first makes this daring flight. But in a very real sense, it will not be one man going to the Moon — if we make this judgment affirmatively, it will be an entire nation. For all of us must work to put him there.
— U.S. President John F. Kennedy
Special Message To Congress
25 May 1961
It has now been more than fifty years since President Kennedy issued his challenge to the people of his nation, and more than forty years since the challenge was met with the successful landing of humans on the Moon.
In the time since then, many nations, corporations and organizations have announced that they, too, would send missions to the Moon. They have planned, discussed, argued, discussed some more, argued some more, revised their plans, postponed and re-scheduled their missions … and to this day, not one of these plans has yet to become reality.
Instead, the focus has shifted almost entirely to reusable “spacecraft” that will only reach the nearest edge of space, still remaining well within the bonds of Earth. Most people consider these “Low Earth Orbit” vehicles to be little more than glorified, rocket-powered airplanes, not the type of craft needed to reach the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
In the spirit of President Kennedy’s original challenge, in partnership with leading aerospace equipment suppliers and facilities providers, and working in cooperation with space agencies around the world, the organizers of the Kennedy II Lunar Exploration Project have committed to an aggressive three-phase program that will culminate with the return of human explorers to the Moon within twelve years.
OUR GOAL: To establish operational bases on the Moon for scientific study, tourism, manufacturing and resource development, using public and private (non-governmental) funding to accomplish our goal.
OUR COMMITMENT: To return fair market value to our sponsors and partners in exchange for their commitment to see this monumental project through to its completion.
OUR CHALLENGE: To work with established aerospace suppliers, including commercial launch vehicle manufacturers, equipment contractors and mission facilities providers, to develop a safe, realistic and financially viable program to return humans to the Moon.
OUR PLAN: The first phase of this program shall culminate in a successful unmanned mission to the Moon by 2020; the second phase shall result in a successful manned mission to the Moon and the establishment of the first permanent settlements on the Moon by 2022; the third phase shall result in the construction of permanent structures, including housing, landing/launch ports, observatories and other scientific facilities, and the commencement of resource development with individual property rights by 2026.
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