John F. Kennedy photo

Remarks Upon Signing Bill Providing for an Expanded Space Program

July 21, 1961

It is a pleasure to sign today the authorization bill for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This bill has been approved by the Congress in an overwhelming manner and demonstrates united support for a new and vigorous space program, submitted to our country by the Vice President as Chairman of the National Aeronautics and Space Council, sent to the Congress by me as President, and given overwhelming support by Members of both of our parties who are committed, as we all are, to seeing to it that the United States occupies an important position in the race into the far reaches of Space.

It is especially fitting that this bill should be signed on the day that our second Astronaut, Captain Virgil Grissom, with whom I spoke this morning, after he had made his successful flight. I think it's most important that we should have once again this emphasis on the leadership which our fellow Americans are showing in this field-their courage, and also the strong scientific support that they've received from the entire American scientific community.

It's significant, also, that this flight was made before the eyes of the watching world, with all the hazards that that entails.

As our space program continues on even more ambitious missions, it will continue to be this Nation's policy to use space for the advancement of all mankind, and to make free release of all scientific and technological results.

And therefore it is With great pleasure that we sign it today.

Note: The President spoke in the Fish Room at the White House.

As enacted, the bill authorizing appropriations for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is Public Law 87-98 (75 Stat. 216).

John F. Kennedy, Remarks Upon Signing Bill Providing for an Expanded Space Program Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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