#405 Presidents and the Space Program: How Kennedy, Nixon, and Reagan Set the Trajectory
Not Old Better Show, Smithsonian Associates Inside Science Interview Series
Welcome to The Not Old Better Show. I’m Paul Vogelzang and this is episode #405
As part of our Smithsonian Associates, Inside Science author interview series, our guest today is Dr. John Logsdon.
Dr. John Logsdon is often referred to as the “Dean of space policy,” and an educator, author, analyst, and historian of the presidential decisions that have shaped the U.S. space program since its inception. Dr. Logsdon will be presenting at Smithsonian Associates Inside Science author interview series, November 19, 2019. Check out our site for more details.
Dr. John Logsdon is the author of John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon and After Apollo? And, Richard Nixon and the American Space Program. In 1961, John F. Kennedy decided that being the leader in space was essential to the United States’ national interest, and chose to send Americans to land on the Moon as the most visible element of that quest for preeminence.
Even as Apollo 11 achieved the goal set by Kennedy, Richard Nixon decided that there was no need to set an ambitious post-Apollo objective. He mandated that the space agency should compete for priority and funding with other government programs, choosing the space shuttle as the centerpiece of NASA’s efforts.
Ronald Reagan, with his Kennedy-like rhetoric, treated the space program as an example of American exceptionalism and global leadership. He gave NASA the second half of its post-Apollo ambition, developing a space station as “the next logical step.” Though he was the first president to become enthusiastic about potential private-sector space activities, Reagan was a fiscal conservative who followed Nixon’s lead in limiting NASA’s share of the government budget to far less than what it had been during the Apollo project.
Join me and Dr. John M. Logsdon, for a discussion of how presidential leadership impacted America’s space program, featuring video clips of remarks by Kennedy, Nixon, and Reagan reflecting their views on that exploration. Dr. Logsdon will be presenting at Smithsonian Associates Inside Science author interview series, November 19, 2019, titled, Presidents and the Space Program: How Kennedy, Nixon, and Reagan Set the Trajectory. Check out our site for more details. But, please welcome to The Not Old Better Show, via internet phone, Dr. John Logsdon.
My thanks to author, historian, NASA Advisory Council member, Dr. John Logsdon. Links and ticket details for Dr. John Logsdon, who will be presenting at Smithsonian Associates Inside Science author interview series, November 19, 2019, titled, Presidents and the Space Program: How Kennedy, Nixon, and Reagan Set the Trajectory are available at our site, and for more details, please check out the Smithsonian Associates site, all of which we’ll link to. And, thanks always to the wonderful Smithsonian team for all they do to support the show. Talk About Better. The Not Old Better Show. Thanks, everybody.
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