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A new era in spaceflight: Back to the moon on the way to Mars

Nov 06, 2018 - Washington Post Blogs

This story is one in a series about U.S. human spaceflight.

O n May 25, 1961, President John Kennedy issued a challenge to lawmakers, the new U.S. space agency and the American people.

"I believe that 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 the Earth," Kennedy said in a speech before Congress.

It was an ambitious goal. But in July 1969, NASA would achieve i...