This week a private investor, Dennis Tito, chairman of the Inspiration Mars Foundation, a non-profit organization, announced a 2018 mission to Mars. Tito is a former NASA rocket scientist and the world's first space tourist. This reminded me of another space event, the moon mission.
Fifty years ago, U.S. President John F. Kennedy made a speech ("Moon Speech") at Rice University Stadium in Houston, Texas, on September 12, 1962. In the speech, President Kennedy pointed out why he was advocating such a mission:
We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
For a text of the speech, see here.