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The Second Assassination of JFK


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From huffingtonpost.com

The 2nd Assassination of JFK Premieres in Conjunction With the Atlantis Flight

by Mia R Benetate

July 20, 2011

Excerpts:

As Florida's Space Coast ends a celebrated American era with the close of NASA's manned shuttle program with launch of Atlantis, there is a palpable sadness in the air. Residents resignedly prepare for what is sure to bring continued economic disaster with the demise of the storied program. Losing the link that has sustained generations, the collective fears they harbor are a tangible reality -- no longer simply an abject concept....

....Recently the Arts Fund produced a documentary film on the end of the shuttle program titled, The 2nd Assassination of JFK, which to date, has garnered critical acclaim culminating in winning top honors at an international film festival. A thought-provoking film that sheds light on the alarming end of the US manned space program, I couldn't help but wonder what the consequences of our current administration's troubling lack of foresight regarding space exploration and its implication for future generations.

Beautifully shot by Robert Christian Malmberg, The 2nd Assassination of JFK is told candidly through the eyes of those living and working on Florida's Space Coast. The indie filmmaker delivers on the promise to highlight the program's importance to our nation's heritage and future, as well as the societal and financial implications of its demise.

Full story: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mia-r-benenate/2nd-assassination-of-jfk_b_904320.html

Link to documentary: http://www.youtube.com/LastShuttle#p/u/0/uqQ3lgrDCHY

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The US manned space program began under Ike not JFK.

That's correct. Even the plans for a lunar landing were started at a similar time; Kennedy simply made it a national goal.

Gee, maybe they should have named it the Eisenhower Space Center.

More accurately, what became known as Project Mercury began during the Eisenhower administration.

What became known as Project Gemini began after Kennedy's election, but days before his inauguration.

The two programs had markedly different goals and objectives. It was Project Gemini that had this as one of its goals:

To subject two men and supporting equipment to long duration flights -- a requirement for projected later trips to the moon or deeper space.

http://www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/kscpao/history/mercury/mercury-overview.htm

http://www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/kscpao/history/gemini/gemini-overview.htm

Project Gemini was the bridge between Mercury and Apollo.

Whatever the case, it is President John F Kennedy's name that will always be associated with our trips to the moon.

Edited by Michael Hogan
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Michael,

I totally agree regarding Kennedy; if he had not pushed then who knows what would have happened? Von Braun had proposed a huge space station first, and then exploration of the planets; that may not have been a bad idea.

I'm glad you raised Gemini; most people don't realise it actually came after Apollo even though it was first a 'Mercury MkII'.

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That's correct. Even the plans for a lunar landing were started at a similar time; Kennedy simply made it a national goal.

For what it's worth, Nixon made the lunar landing his goal as well. I sometimes think Nixon wanted that 1969 landing because Kennedy had said we'd have a man on the moon by the end of this decade ('60's). I thought it was a quiet homage to the late President. Nixon often brought up President Kennedy in interviews and I think he felt guilt about John Kennedy. Although I don't think he liked his brothers, Robert and Ted. I'm reading Haldeman's Diaries and the Moon shot was glossed over.

Kathy C

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Kennedy saw the lunar landing programme as a political tool; he wasn't as enthusiastic about it as others were (LBJ, Agnew).... but he used it and he inspired people. Regardless of his personal enthusiasm, it was his administration that started it all.

BTW, the original speech had a landing for 1967; plans at that time thought it could be achievable. It was decided, however, that the "end of the decade" would give them more breathing room (which was needed!), sounded better in the speech, and could even be stretched out to the end of 1970 (which was technically the end of the decade)..

Edited by Evan Burton
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That's correct. Even the plans for a lunar landing were started at a similar time; Kennedy simply made it a national goal.

For what it's worth, Nixon made the lunar landing his goal as well. I sometimes think Nixon wanted that 1969 landing because Kennedy had said we'd have a man on the moon by the end of this decade ('60's). I thought it was a quiet homage to the late President. Nixon often brought up President Kennedy in interviews and I think he felt guilt about John Kennedy. Although I don't think he liked his brothers, Robert and Ted. I'm reading Haldeman's Diaries and the Moon shot was glossed over.

Kathy C

The Eagle landed exactly 6 months after Nixon was inaugurated, it is likely JFK’s goal would have been met no matter who had been elected. Giving Nixon credit for the moon landing is like giving JFK credit for the manned space program. Actually worse because JFK increased funding for the latter while Nixon cut it.

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Guest Robert Morrow

The US Space Program is the biggest waste of money in world history. NASA is just code for defense contractor pork barrel.

However, it did invent "Tang" instant orange drink ....

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The US Space Program is the biggest waste of money in world history. NASA is just code for defense contractor pork barrel.

However, it did invent "Tang" instant orange drink ....

No. Even if the entire space program was a waste, there have certainly been bigger and more expensive ones, mostly military related. The war in Iraq comes to mind. If that's too close to home, how about the Spanish Crown wasting the literal mountains of gold and silver they plundered from Mexico and South America on a series of wars to try to keep the Netherlands Catholic and to build an armada to invade England.

Tang was a civilian commercial product developed for the consumer market by General Foods; it is only commonly associated with the space program because it was included in the provisions of a couple of Mercury and Gemini missions, and General Mills used this as the basis of a major advertising campaign.

I would argue that the space program often has been useful. Putting humans into space as soon as it was just barely technically possible, however, was pure grandstanding, needlessly dangerous and expensive. It was already apparent in the earliest stages that from both scientific and financial standpoint, unmanned missions would be far more effective.

Everyday life has been made easier and safer thanks to communications and weather satellites. Robotic probes and space telescopes have conducted valuable scientific work, making contributions which would not have been possible working only on Earth.

NASA manned space program has been a different matter as to the ratio of investment to return. However I think JFK was pushing it for other reasons -- not just for national prestige and to "outdo" the Soviets, but also for domestic considerations: a chance to feed the Military-Industrial Complex enough expensive contracts to keep them from demanding unnecessary foreign wars to profiteer from. If this had worked, it might well have been worth it. However LBJ decided to keep the Complex as fat and happy as possible by giving them both the space program and unnecessary foreign war at the same time.

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The US Space Program is the biggest waste of money in world history. NASA is just code for defense contractor pork barrel.

However, it did invent "Tang" instant orange drink ....

No. Even if the entire space program was a waste, there have certainly been bigger and more expensive ones, mostly military related. The war in Iraq comes to mind. If that's too close to home, how about the Spanish Crown wasting the literal mountains of gold and silver they plundered from Mexico and South America on a series of wars to try to keep the Netherlands Catholic and to build an armada to invade England.

Tang was a civilian commercial product developed for the consumer market by General Foods; it is only commonly associated with the space program because it was included in the provisions of a couple of Mercury and Gemini missions, and General Mills used this as the basis of a major advertising campaign.

I would argue that the space program often has been useful. Putting humans into space as soon as it was just barely technically possible, however, was pure grandstanding, needlessly dangerous and expensive. It was already apparent in the earliest stages that from both scientific and financial standpoint, unmanned missions would be far more effective.

Everyday life has been made easier and safer thanks to communications and weather satellites. Robotic probes and space telescopes have conducted valuable scientific work, making contributions which would not have been possible working only on Earth.

NASA manned space program has been a different matter as to the ratio of investment to return. However I think JFK was pushing it for other reasons -- not just for national prestige and to "outdo" the Soviets, but also for domestic considerations: a chance to feed the Military-Industrial Complex enough expensive contracts to keep them from demanding unnecessary foreign wars to profiteer from. If this had worked, it might well have been worth it. However LBJ decided to keep the Complex as fat and happy as possible by giving them both the space program and unnecessary foreign war at the same time.

The Counter point to the bolded statement above would be the primitive state of computer technology during the 1960s. At that time a human being had problem solving and observation capabilities that far surpassed the then current computers. Flash to the present and it is a no-brainer to use computers and micro-electronics instead of astronauts on the space missions, especially for the next item on the agenda, Mars.

Agree that the spinoffs and by-products of the space program have provided considerable benefits.

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