We Choose to Go to the Moon, John F. Kennedy, 1962
1. ...Despite the striking fact that most of the scientists that the world has ever known
2. are alive and working today, despite the fact that this Nation’s own scientific manpower
3. is doubling every 12 years in a rate of growth more than three times that of our population
4. as a whole, despite that, the vast stretches of the unknown and the unanswered and the
5. unfinished still far outstrip our collective comprehension.
6. No man can fully grasp how far and how fast we have come, but condense, if you will, the
7. 50,000 years of man’s recorded history in a time span of but a half-century. ...About 10
8. years ago, under this standard, man emerged from his caves to construct other kinds of
9. shelter. Only five years ago man learned to write and use a cart with wheels. Christianity
10. began less than two years ago. The printing press came this year, and then less than two
11. months ago, during this whole 50-year span of human history, the steam engine provided
12. a new source of power. Newton explored the meaning of gravity. Last month electric lights
13. and telephones and automobiles and airplanes became available. Only last week did we
14. develop penicillin and television and nuclear power, and now if America's new spacecraft
15. succeeds in reaching Venus, we will have literally reached the stars before midnight tonight.
16. This is a breathtaking pace, and such a pace cannot help but create new ills as it dispels
17. old, new ignorance, new problems, new dangers.... But this city of Houston, this State of
18. Texas, this country of the United States was not built by those who waited and rested
19. and wished to look behind them. This country was conquered by those who moved
20. forward — and so will space. ...The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join
21. in it or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time, and no nation which expects
22. to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in the race for space.
23. Those who came before us made certain that this country rode the first waves of the
24. industrial revolutions, the first waves of modern invention, and the first wave of nuclear
25. power, and this generation does not intend to founder in the backwash of the coming
26. age of space. We mean to be part of it — we mean to lead it. For the eyes of the world
27. now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that
28. we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom
29. and peace. We have vowed that we shall not see space filled with weapons of mass
30. destruction, but with instruments of knowledge and understanding.
31. Yet the vows of this Nation can only be fulfilled if we in this Nation are first, and,
32. therefore, we intend to be first. In short, our leadership in science and in industry, our
33. hopes for peace and security, our obligations to ourselves as well as others, all require
34. us to make this effort, to solve these mysteries, to solve them for the good of all men,
35. and to become the world's leading space-faring nation.
36. We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights
37. to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people....Whether it will
38. become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a
39. position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace
40. or a new terrifying theater of war. I do not say that we should or will go unprotected against
41. the hostile misuse of space any more than we go unprotected against the hostile use of land
42. or sea, but I do say that space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war,
43. without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours.
44. ...But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask, why
45, climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?
46. We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other
47. things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to
48. organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that
49. we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win,
50. and the others, too.
Kennedy, John F. "We Choose to Go to the Moon." The Nation's Space Effort. Rice Stadium, Rice University, Houston, Texas. 12 Sept. 1962. Er.jsc.nasa.gov. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.
Which of the following BEST represents the author's intended audience?