By John M. Logsdon
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Determination to maintain global leadership might not have been so potent a symbol. But NASA delivered extraordinary results in carrying out the first landing on another celestial body, and Richard Nixon was able to leverage that success to a major strategic triumph for the United States. Chapter 2 Setting the Post-Apollo Stage W hile Richard Nixon’s involvement with the Apollo 11 mission provided the background to the first steps in the process of deciding what the United States would do in space after reaching the Moon, it did not create the positive momentum needed to overcome both skepticism on the part of those advising the new president about the value of continuing a fast-paced and expensive program of space activities after Apollo and the reality that NASA was ill-prepared to face its future.
One action Borman took at the president’s request was to prepare brief profiles of the Apollo 11 crew for Nixon and similar profiles of the crew’s wives for Mrs. Nixon. ”23 NASA had sent to the White House proposed remarks for President Nixon to use as he spoke with the astronauts on the Moon. ” Borman advised Nixon not to use NASA’s input. He told the president “look, Mr. President, you really don’t have anything to do with Apollo 11. If it fails, you’ll get tarred with it, and if it 18 A f t e r A p o l l o?
Early on the morning of August 13 they left Houston on what promised to be an exhausting day. The crew and their wives and children were flown by Air Force Two to New York City for a ticker-tape parade. According to Armstrong’s biographer, “not even the revelry at the end of World War II or the parade for Lindbergh in 1927 matched in size” the crowd watching the crew’s parade through Manhattan; one estimate of the turnout was 4 million people. ” Finally the astronauts arrived in Los Angeles for the huge dinner celebrating their mission.