Il sito collectspace ha pubblicato un interessante documento risalente al 1960.In esso un gruppo interno al Congresso degli Stati Uniti chiedeva ufficialmente di puntare ad uno sbarco sulla luna prima del 1970 (all’epoca la NASA non aveva alcun programma in merito,e si pensava vagamente ad una spedizione dopo il 1972).Si conferma dunque che l’idea probabilmente bolliva già in pentola,e che dopo il volo di Gagarin probabilmente qualunque presidente Americano l’avrebbe tirata fuori dal cilindro. Resta comunque ascrivibile a Kennedy il merito di aver saputo suscitare un così vasto entusiasmo intorno all’impresa. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
cSpace Historygram: Groups Wants Man On Moon By '70
Source: MISSILES AND ROCKETS (July 11, 1960)
A Congressional committee demanded last week that the United States raise its sights and set a goal the landing of a manned expedition on the moon before 1970.
The Democratic-controlled House Space Committee lashed out at the Republican Administration’s meandering space program as Congress broke up for a month’s recess.
It called on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to adopt a high priority program to put men on the moon within 10 years. The current NASA schedule has set this goal for a vague “after 1970” –apparently about 1972.
“A firm plan with this goal should be drawn up an submitted to the Congress by NASA,” the report said, “such a plan, however, should be completely integrated with other goals to minimize total costs. Particular attention should be paid immediately to long lead time phases of such a program.”
CONFLICTS RECALLED – The committee recalled that Brig. Gen. Irving L. Branch, chief of the Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Office of the Atomic Energy Commission, had testified this spring that AEC could develop propulsion for a manned moon expedition in less then 10 years if given such a requirement.
However, Deputy NASA Administrator Hugh L. Dryden testified that a manned moon expedition would be impossible in this decade regardless of progress in propulsion. Dryden said solving the problems of re-entry from a lunar distance will take longer then 10 years.
The NASA timetable, put forth by administrator T. Keith Glennan in February, is about four years behind a schedule that some of the nation’s top scientists, engineers and government officials thought possible a scant 18 months ago.
In a report issued Jan 2, 1959, the original Select House Space Committee quoted 20 experts as saying the United States could put a man on the moon by 1968-if willing to pay the price.
The Experts included Dr. Herbert F. York, now Defense Department director of research and engineering; Lt. Gen. Bernard A. Schriever, commander of Air Research & Development Command; Dr. Louis G. Dunn, president of Space Technology Laboratories; and Gen. James H. Doolittle, then chairman of the National Aeronautics and Space Council.
The committee made these other points:
The F-1 1 and ½-million-lb thrust single-chamber engine should be speeded and granted a “DX,” the nations’s highest priority.
NASA should consider whether a nuclear engine “either by itself or in combination with the more conventional engines now in use or contemplated, does not offer a faster and more economical method of achieving a breakthrough…" The decision should be made before large sums are committed to Nova, the committee said.
Administration action in withholding $137 million voted by Congress for pre-production items for NIKE-ZEUS was unwarranted.
The Department of Defense has wasted a unique organization by failing to utilize Army in-house research and development facilities, worth $1 billion.