Brian Odom talks Marshall Space Flight Center after Kennedy’s Moon promise

Leadership Perspectives
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In 1961, President John Kennedy told Congress.

In 1962, he made a famous speech at Rice University and told America we were going to the moon in the ’60s.

We choose to do these things said the president, “Not because they are easy, but because they are hard!”

Marshall Space Flight Center was the main place where the hard work was performed.

What did the president’s promise mean to the men and women at Marshall?

NASA historian Brian Odom sat down to talk about how Kennedy’s promise affected Marshall.

“The Saturn program predated Marshall, it was something in the works in the Army Days; something they’d thought about – Von Braun and his team – Germans and Americans. When Kennedy made his pledge after only 15 minutes of American space flight, it gave them a certain vindication for the work that was already in place, but it gave them a purpose. It gave them a meaning and now looking forward, they knew the hard work was there, but they knew the work was set for them.”

You can watch our full interview with Odom below:

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