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-- -- -- -- -- -- -- They -- the Marco Polo is and -- -- Last September and that bid farewell.
To a modern -- -- Became a testament to all Americans.
-- what can be achieved through vision and dedication.
But that eulogy for the first man of the -- delivered by the -- to leave it captures the spirit of all those who made that journey.
That means endless things thing.
American heroes whose final mission ended a fourteen years ago.
I'm Neil Cavuto reporting for the Kennedy Space Center visitor complex in Florida.
It is hard for people my age to believe that most Americans -- -- a -- The last time a man walked on the moon Apollo seventeen astronaut concerned and on December 14 1972.
A number the explorers who made that trip.
Passed away the rest are now in their late seventies some eighties but the story they -- still sounds like something out of the future.
Not the past it's a story about how America.
With a combination of vision I take no -- and good -- -- -- aren't answered the challenge of arrival.
Stepped into the unknown and it's -- almost seems as unbelievable today.
As it was a half century ago.
And I -- It was October 4 1957.
At the height of the Cold War that the Soviets launched at the beach ball sized satellite.
-- -- -- Which -- Europe that just over an hour -- -- Telling the world may never be the same again.
When I was still in flight school.
-- sputnik was launched that's beginning at the space age.
The dawn of the space saying it was the start of the space race America competing with the Soviets for scientific dominance.
But in a world -- Americans don't bomb shelters and worried about missile -- science.
Spelled national security and.
Cold War had been prolonged it was going on nobody could really see an end to what.
Overall and he underlying risk of nuclear confrontation time.
The next step in that race.
Required -- -- man.
Seven the start.
There's a 110 originally people that were selected by air force -- navy to become astronauts.
And rolled down to 32 after the U interviews and things like that thirty to -- list went to -- clinic.
And I was gonna get a flight -- you didn't pass the Mercury physicals I had what was known as the -- Billy -- which was.
Paint pigment in your blood and self -- that they said well.
You know hero units at a time when your little boy you -- -- to be into dinosaurs.
Or rockets -- you're not -- dinosaurs what I did get of the Mercury program if the original selection.
I said it was an arsenal of rockets before those guys to -- Project Mercury began in 1958 with the goals of putting a human in orbit and doing so before the Soviets did it on that second count -- -- Three days after -- after the sputnik shock on April 12 1961.
The Soviets out -- the US once again.
-- -- -- -- Became the first human being and -- -- well they -- -- to orbit so we were behind.
We -- -- -- America scramble to catch up.
Less than one month later on meet this -- said.
One of -- Mercury seven became the first American in space.
Just over three bullets into -- presidency John F.
Kennedy like millions of other Americans across the country.
Was glued to his television chairmanship -- became.
An instant hero that his country needed but the fact of life is good care and have circled the earth a month before and Allen one -- came down sixteen minutes.
JFK his sights set on beating the Soviets sought out advice from NASA's top engineers.
Was three and a rocket scientist.
And Huntsville Alabama -- president candidate.
Here with missile expert -- broaden begins a tour they -- our -- US space center I read a letter from Warner of our brawn that he wrote to Kennedy.
When he said what how can we beat the Russians.
And -- -- letter basically said.
We can't beat him anywhere here except to be the first on the moon and so that's what we committed to.
May 25 1961.
The president made a dramatic announcement.
Before a joint session of congress I.
Believe that this nation should commit now.
-- achieving the goal.
Before this decade is out of landing a man on the -- and returning him safely to the year.
We didn't go to the mood collect rocks.
And went to the mood to stick to flag and the moon before the Russians did we didn't have the Cold War.
Would Kennedy had the same zeal now.
To have something that it would show America -- ability to respond to a challenge.
As well as to do it in -- and a full open.
And a peaceful way.
I think really did catch the origination.
American people and of the politician.
-- catch the imagination you deal.
On February 20 1962.
John Glenn in the species dubbed prince -- seven.
Became the first American to orbit the year.
Three -- -- -- -- animal and yeah thing.
Easy but because they.
The Mercury program would ultimately had six manned flights.
Each missed a step closer to the ultimate goal.
Then as Mercury was winding down on November 22 1963.
President Kennedy was assassinated.
In April 1964.
NASA launched project -- and Latin for to win.
The gym and I was started it was a two manned spacecraft the Gemini program -- specifically to show.
That we could do -- to -- and -- In order to get to the moon you had to have a capability of two weeks and space yet it -- them.
-- -- to be able to you do EPA get outside spacecraft spaces and yet having guided reentry.
We practiced all those missions and German.
Search and when I was an extremely important part of the lunar program.
On June 3 1965.
On Gemini pool astronaut Edward white became the first American -- -- warm and EDA.
Extra vehicular activity.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- America would still playing catch up however Soviet cosmonaut and excited you know had performed a space -- three months earlier.
The big prize was still up there the night sky and -- Gemini missions were -- forward.
Each one providing NASA with more information necessary for that ultimate quest.
-- -- -- In December of 1965.
Gemini seven or on the -- with Gemini six day in orbit making it the first manned spacecraft.
To -- Germany seven also doubled the amount of time any man has been its.
-- many doctors at that times had.
You know people can't live is zero gravity for too long but of course we went up there for two weeks and and we did see some cases of the body but it was -- that could be you know -- -- that was significant right because that that meant that we could go to them.
That we could chance of omission of that generation -- -- -- change people's perspective.
Because -- -- flights were saved a Max polity about a two week flight we had to make sure that the people were.
You know -- who two functional that respect.
There -- fourteen day mission has shown us that man and needed gap.
If they find and violence and additional data -- I think medically permit man who learned from America.
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