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On This Day: Apollo Set in Motion

On this day, fifty-five years ago, US President John F. Kennedy gave a speech to the US congress in which he lit the blue touch paper on the greatest journey the human race has thus far undertaken.

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 Earth

It is staggering to think that a little more than eight years after those historic words, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were walking on the surface of the Moon. Although one can argue that the Space Race had as much, if not more, to do with political point scoring against the Soviet Union as it had to do with the genuine human need to explore, the Apollo programme remains one of the great achievements of modern times.