The purpose of Kennedy’s address at Rice University was to lay out his vision for American space exploration and to gain support for his proposed budget for the Apollo program.
Kennedy’s address is often referred to as “The Moon Speech.” It was delivered on September 12, 1962, at Rice University in Houston, Texas. The speech lasted just over 40 minutes, after which Kennedy took questions from the audience.
The speech outlined Kennedy’s view that America should go to the Moon as a demonstration of national will and technological capability. He also argued that such exploration would benefit all Americans by advancing science and technology, improving international relations and inspiring young people about careers in science and engineering.
He then described how important space was for future generations as well as our current ones: “We’re going to explore space through science and technology but we will also explore it through our application of science and technology.”
Kennedy’s decision to make a speech about space exploration came after he had been briefed by NASA officials on their plans for the future of American spaceflight. He wanted to find a way to persuade Congress that it should approve funding for these plans – especially given that they would cost millions of dollars each year until they reached fruition some years later.