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To the Moon: The Speech that Launched Apollo

Eugene A. Cernan, Commander, Apollo 17

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Presenters: Capt. Eugene A. Cernan, USN (Ret.) and Dr. John M. Logsdon
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
8:00 pm
Airbus IMAX Theater
Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA

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On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy spoke before a joint session of Congress and voiced the words that have become indelibly marked in our minds as a defining moment in the history of the space age: “I believe 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 earth.”

Capt. Eugene A. Cernan, USN (Ret.), Gemini and Apollo astronaut and author of The Last Man on the Moon, will discuss his personal experience of carrying out President Kennedy’s mandate to land on the Moon.

Dr. John M. Logsdon, Emeritus, Space Policy Institute at The George Washington University and author of John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon, will discuss President Kennedy and the decision to go to the Moon and whether to compete or cooperate with the Soviet Union.

The lecture is for members of the Museum’s National Air and Space Society and their guests only. There is no charge for National Air and Space Society members to attend, but advance reservations are required. If you are already a member, visit to reserve tickets beginning Friday, April 22. If you would like to become a member, visit Membership dues directly support the National Air and Space Museum and begin at just $35.

There will also be a buffet dinner reception before the lecture with the speakers for Society members at the Mercury Friendship 7 level and higher. For more information, call 202.633.2603 or email

Sponsored by the National Air and Space Society.

Note: Please note this lecture takes place at the Udvar-Hazy Center, not the National Mall building.

Directions to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA
Udvar-Hazy Center Floorplan

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