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Photos: John F. Kennedy's NASA Legacy

We Choose to Go to the Moon ...

NASA

President John F. Kennedy in his historic message to a joint session of the Congress, on May 25, 1961 declared, "...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 the Earth." This goal was achieved when astronaut Neil A. Armstrong became the first human to set foot upon the Moon at 10:56 p.m. EDT, July 20, 1969. Shown in the background are, (left) Vice President Lyndon Johnson, and (right) Speaker of the House Sam T. Rayburn.

Briefing the President

NASA

A briefing is given by Major Rocco Petrone to President John F. Kennedy during a tour of Blockhouse 34 at the Cape Canaveral Missile Test Annex.

I Love a Parade

NASA

President John F. Kennedy (left), John Glenn and General Leighton I. Davis ride together during a parade in Cocoa Beach, Florida after Glenn's historic first U.S. human orbital spacefight.

You Deserve a Medal

NASA

Former President John F. Kennedy presents Dr. Robert R. Gilruth Director of the Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, Texas with the Medal for Distinguished Federal Civil Service. The ceremony took place on the White House Lawn. In attendance were second from left to right: Astronaut Alan Sheppard, Astronaut John Glenn, Dr. Robert R. Gilruth, NASA Administrator James Webb, President John F. Kennedy.

Trophy for the Right Stuff

NASA

NASA Administrator James E. Webb (center) cites the space achievements of the Project Mercury Astronauts who received the 1963 Collier Trophy Award in a ceremony held at the White House on October 10, 1963. President John F. Kennedy (left) and Vice President Lyndon Johnson accompanied Webb at the ceremony. Five of the Mercury Seven astronauts are visible in the row behind James Webb. They are (starting from JFK's left): Alan Shepard, Donald "Deke" Slayton, John Glenn, Virgil "Gus" Grissom, and Scott Carpenter.

Astronaut, President & Cosmonaut

NASA

Second cosmonaut German Titov (right) appears with NASA astronaut John Glenn and President John Kennedy at the White House in 1962. Titov was in Washington to give his account of the Vostok 2 spaceflight to the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR). The twenty-five-year-old Titov was the youngest person to ever go into space - a record that still stands to this day.

Model of a Mariner Spacecraft Presented to President Kennedy

NASA

Dr. William H. Pickering, (center) director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, presents a model of a Mariner spacecraft to President John F.Kennedy, (right) in 1961. NASA Administrator James Webb is standing directly behind the model.

Astronaut Honors in Living Color

NASA

Astronaut John Glenn, Jr. is honored by President John F. Kennedy after his historical first manned orbital flight. The ceremony is being held at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Langley, Virginia. The Center moved to Houston, Texas later that year, where it continues to reside.

The President and the Scientist

NASA

President John F. Kennedy visited Marshall Space Flight Center on September 11, 1962. Here President Kennedy and Dr. Wernher von Braun, MSFC Director, tour one of the laboratories.

"Up There! That's Where I Say We Should Go!"

NASA

Dr. Wernher von Braun explains the Saturn Launch System to President John F. Kennedy. NASA Deputy Administrator Robert Seamans is to the left of von Braun.

"When Do We Get to Meet Jackie?"

NASA

President John F. Kennedy congratulates astronaut Alan B. Shepard, Jr., the first American in space, on his historic May 5th, 1961 ride in the Freedom 7 spacecraft and presents him with the NASA Distinguished Service Award. The ceremony took place on the White House lawn. Shepard's wife, Louise (left in white dress and hat), and his mother were in attendance as well as the other six Mercury astronauts and NASA officals, some visible in the background.

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