Selling Outer Space: Kennedy, the Media, and Funding for Project Apollo, 1961-1963

Selling Outer Space: Kennedy, the Media, and Funding for Project Apollo, 1961-1963

by James Kauffman
     
 

In the early 1960s, the Kennedy administration's public campaign to sell Project Apollo met with little opposition from Congress, the media, or the public. Only in the aftermath of space disasters like the Challenger explosion have Americans seriously questioned the primacy - or even the need - for human beings to explore outer space. This book examines the Kennedy… See more details below

Overview

In the early 1960s, the Kennedy administration's public campaign to sell Project Apollo met with little opposition from Congress, the media, or the public. Only in the aftermath of space disasters like the Challenger explosion have Americans seriously questioned the primacy - or even the need - for human beings to explore outer space. This book examines the Kennedy administration's rhetoric to understand why Project Apollo received so little opposition. Although the Kennedy administration advanced a number of political, scientific, military, and economic arguments for a manned moon mission, its rhetoric ultimately "sold" the space project as a great frontier adventure story with deep roots in American history and culture. The administration enticed Congress, the media, and the public to think of Project Apollo not in "logical" terms, but as a reaffirmation of the romantic American frontier myth. By describing space as the New Frontier, the Kennedy administration shaped the way Americans interpreted and gave meaning to space exploration for years to come. The frontier narrative subsumed arguments about the technology and economics of the program, and it established a presumption in favor of massive commitments of the nation's resources to staffed space flight. The continuing influence of the frontier mythology is perhaps nowhere more evident than in the decision to develop the space shuttle program. Ultimately, the shuttle's attraction may have been the symbolic importance of the fact that the astronauts flew the craft as a plane, thereby reaffirming the rugged individualism and daring of the frontier myth.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780817307479
Publisher:
University of Alabama Press
Publication date:
09/30/1994
Series:
Studies Rhetoric & Communicati Series
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction1
1The Kennedy Administration's Lunar Campaign12
2The Kennedy Administration and the New Frontier30
3Media Coverage of the Space Program: A Reflection of Values50
4Life: NASA's Mouthpiece in the Popular Media68
5Congressional Space Committees: Overseers or Advocates?93
6Justificatory Rhetoric: Floor Debates Concerning Project Apollo116
Conclusion132
Notes139
Bibliography175
Index187

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