Richard Nixon, President During the Epochal Apollo XI Moon Landing, and Whose Name is on a Plaque Left There by the Apollo XI Astronauts, Dramatically Predicts That the Space Program Will Change the World

This is the only letter of Nixon on the long-term import of the space program that we have ever seen on the market. It has never been offered for sale before.

Purchase $15,000

“I was…impressed by the full list of contributions our efforts in space make to man’s scientific and medical knowledge…They will be even more impressed by the dramatic improvements our discoveries in space will mean for the quality of life on earth…This effort is an extraordinary contribution to the welfare of all Americans...

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Richard Nixon, President During the Epochal Apollo XI Moon Landing, and Whose Name is on a Plaque Left There by the Apollo XI Astronauts, Dramatically Predicts That the Space Program Will Change the World

This is the only letter of Nixon on the long-term import of the space program that we have ever seen on the market. It has never been offered for sale before.

“I was…impressed by the full list of contributions our efforts in space make to man’s scientific and medical knowledge…They will be even more impressed by the dramatic improvements our discoveries in space will mean for the quality of life on earth…This effort is an extraordinary contribution to the welfare of all Americans and of all the people of the world.”

 

Nixon was right, as computers were improved and developed for the space program, and when that technology spread, the world went online and was utterly altered.

The American program to take a man to the moon and return him safely to Earth was famously initiated by President John F. Kennedy in 1962, when he gave a speech saying, “We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win…” The goal seemed almost impossible at the time, but persistence and ingenuity made it into a reality. President Lyndon B. Johnson saw to the funding of the Apollo program after Kennedy’s death, and great leaps forward occurred on his watch. In fact, the Gemini program and Apollo shots up throw VIII took place during the Johnson administration.

But the fruition of the Apollo program – the Apollo XI manned moon landing – came in the summer of 1969, and by then Richard M. Nixon was president. Nixon supported the space program, and some consider he did more for it than his predecessors. On March 7, 1970, pondering the future of NASA and its sustainability, Nixon would encapsulate his thinking on the subject, opining, “We must think of [space activities] as part of a continuing process… and not as a series of separate leaps, each requiring a massive concentration of energy. Space expenditures must take their proper place within a rigorous system of national priorities. … What we do in space from here on in must become a normal and regular part of our national life and must therefore be planned in conjunction with all of the other undertakings which are important to us.”

In July 1969, with Apollo XI set for takeoff, a plaque was prepared, which would be left on the moon. Its inscription read, “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon July 1969, AD. We came in peace for all mankind”; these were in capital letters. This statement followed: ”We came in peace for all mankind”, and it continued, “The Congress hereby declares that it is the policy of the United States that activities in space should be devoted to peaceful purposes for the benefit of all mankind.” This plaque was signed by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins, and Richard Nixon. It was indeed left on the moon, where it remains today. This is how it came to pass that Nixon’s name was one of the first four left on the moon, and the first non-astronaut.

While they were in space Nixon called the Apollo XI astronauts. He told them, “Hello, Neil and Buzz. I’m talking to you by telephone from the Oval Room at the White House. And this certainly has to be the most historic telephone call ever made. I just can’t tell you how proud we all are of what you’ve done. For every American, this has to be the proudest day of our lives. And for people all over the world, I am sure they too join with Americans in recognizing what an immense feat this is. Because of what you have done, the heavens have become a part of man’s world. And as you talk to us from the Sea of Tranquility, it inspires us to redouble our efforts to bring peace and tranquility to Earth. For one priceless moment in the whole history of man, all the people on this Earth are truly one: one in their pride in what you have done, and one in our prayers that you will return safely to Earth.”

On January 28, 1986, the NASA Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven crew members: five NASA astronauts, one payload specialist, and a civilian school teacher. It devastated the space program and the public’s confidence in it. President Reagan asked Academy Award winning writer and director Douglas Morrow to prepare commercials and written materials to help regenerate American confidence in space flight. Morrow wrote Nixon to get his opinion and advice as he undertook the project.

Nixon responded. Typed letter signed, on his personal letterhead, New York, March 5, 1987, to Morrow, showing his deep appreciation that the space program would change the world, and the lives of people. “While I have always been a strong proponent of America’s space program, I was surprised and impressed by the full list of contributions our efforts in space make to man’s scientific and medical knowledge. Most Americans are impressed by the drama of space flight. But when your educational effort is underway they will be even more impressed by the dramatic improvements our discoveries in space will mean for the quality of life on earth. Your undertaking this effort is an extraordinary contribution to the welfare of all Americans and of all the people of the world. I endorse and support these efforts enthusiastically.”

This is the only letter of Nixon on the long-term import of the space program that we have ever seen on the market. It has never been offered for sale before.

This view was prescient; and a more accurate prediction would be hard to find. Computers were improved and developed for the space program, and when that technology spread, the world went online and was utterly altered.

Purchase Now $15,000

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