Future of Space Exploration

June 29, 1966

Report Outline
Soviet-American Competition in Space
Progress in Conquering Outer Space
Possibility of Exploring the Planets
Special Focus

Soviet-American Competition in Space

America's space program has reached a critical juncture. The deadline for sending a manned expedition to the moon and back is little more than three years away. As that time approaches, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is undecided about what space goals to pursue after 1970. A decision will have to be taken soon, for the complexities and costs of space projects dictate long-range planning.

The moon project is on an extremely tight schedule despite the successful soft landing of Surveyor 1 on the lunar surface, June 2. The recent Gemini 9 mission, twice postponed, was only a partial success, and three additional Gemini flights are still to come. James E. Webb, head of NASA, told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee, May 19, that the space agency's budget provided for no backup equipment in case of failure, no time margins, no leeway of any kind. “A $5 billion budget level in the years ahead,” he asserted, “will not be adequate.”

If the United States wants to catch up with the Soviets, Webb added, it will have to start trying harder in fiscal 1968 “to prevent them from forging ahead as the unchallenged leader in space.” The $5 billion NASA authorization bill for fiscal 1967, approved by both houses and now in conference, is just big enough “to hold open for another year and not to foreclose the major decisions on future [space] programs.”

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Oct. 01, 1969  Mission to Mars: Benefits Vs. Costs
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Jun. 29, 1966  Future of Space Exploration
May 08, 1963  Moon Race Controversy
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Nov. 01, 1961  Space Exploration
Dec. 09, 1959  National Space Policy
Feb. 19, 1958  Control of Outer Space
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