President Kennedy, Nikita Khrushchev, Vienna discussed on Moonrise

Moonrise
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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Khrushchev greeted at the station at the arrives Babel's. President Kennedy is next time this team at flies in from the rival the bigger than the American embassy and the first problem only about a week later Kennedy met with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. They had a summit in Vienna to try to diplomatically resolve some Cold War tensions. The mean discussion was the fate of Berlin. It was the first and the only time that these two heads of state would confront each other face to face but Kennedy Kennedy still had the moon on his mind this is somebody brought him the number. What's IT GONNA cost Perrin mccurdy author of space in the American imagination back back then twenty one to twenty five billion dollars a huge part of the federal budget. His budget director tells him NASA is going to break the bank with this moon program it would just plant the economic development agency and all of this the Working WanNa do an education and cities would eat up all that money it was the largest civilian alien technology program in the US history outstripped the Panama Canal. Manhattan project was just such a massive scale so Kennedy's thinking King of the United States to do. Can we figure a way out of this. That's the crazy thing Kennedy's trying to get out of the commitment. He had an idea ball Kennedy he was here in Vienna for the summit. What if he invaded Khruschev to go to the moon with him turning this into joint project with the Americans and the Russians doing this together together it would save the US a ton of money it would look like a diplomatic breakthrough and frankly it would eliminate the risk of failing publicly Likley so Kennedy gave it a shot history has mostly buried this fact but he actually proposed opposed to this Roy Kirsh off aside and say you'll is discovered this. Let's go together together and and initially Khrushchev says was something with talking about but the more he thought about it. The more Khruschev reasoned wait a joint program would give the Americans a real good understanding of what we can do and can't do in space and by by extension what we can and can't do with our nuclear deterrent that seemed problematic plus so far this space as competition have been great for Khrushchev these he's finally going to Tooley. Can you beat the United States and the Soviet Union look good and embarrassed the United States with within. That's the one thing he really needs. Barry chief NASA historian a crucial soft through Kennedy's. The Kennedy's objective was to take the embarrassment of so his one S in space all time off the table and it's really his objective so okay we he's a beach it to the moon moved the goalpost to the end of the decade and that's one way we can end it or other ways. Will you know collaboration in so it's a race anymore. It's working together in space. F- either either one of those things is great for Kennedy horrible for so we had no real incentive to do nonetheless. Kennedy did raise it again the next day and and Khrushchev says well over again. It's something we're talking about but I really think we need to do something about Nuclear-test-ban Treaty and maybe some sort of Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty before we go down that road so Khrushchev Killed Kennedy's hopes of joining forces to go to the moon and that was the end of it joint lunar program never gets off the ground. Kennedy felt he had blown it and Vienna. All of his diplomatic tactics at the summit had actually gone pretty poorly the discussion in about Berlin included two weeks later back in the United States. The Soviet ambassador paid a visit to the president of the White House. He had something to give Kennedy from Khruschev. It was a puppy in the ambassador said your wife the first lady she asked Chairman Khruschev over dinner in Vienna about one of the dogs we sent into space. This is stroke gus puppy. It's a gift Kennedy had no option but to take the puppy its name was pushing the Russian word for for fluffy and it was fluffy. It was a fluffy little mount with wait for and gold tipped ears and it would live at the White House in the humiliation was piling on he was barely into his presidency and already Kennedy had the Yuri Rica Garen fight the Bay of Pigs the moon announcement he regretted the botched meeting in Vienna and now this a fluffy queued you'd mortifying reminder of the Soviet lead in space and a reminder of Kennedy's failed summit with Khrushchev which Kennedy me had called the worst thing in my life.

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