By John M. Logsdon
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Extra resources for After Apollo?: Richard Nixon and the American Space Program
He recognized that Secretary of State William Rogers and Kissinger would have to be part of the diplomatic trip, but he did not want them to accompany him to the recovery; instead, Nixon declared, they would stay on Johnston Island awaiting his return. Nixon did not want to share the event with R i c h a r d N i xo n an d A p o llo 11 23 President Nixon, Apollo 8 astronaut Frank Borman (right) and Admiral John McCain (left) watch as the recovery carrier Hornet approaches the Apollo 11 capsule after it splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on July 24, 1969.
With this as his focus, Webb had resisted agency-wide planning for what NASA should undertake in the post-Apollo period. According to Willis Shapley, one of Webb’s close associates at NASA, Webb “refused to the extent possible to recognize the importance” of post-Apollo planning. ”6 (Shapley as NASA associate deputy administrator had a major role during the period examined in this study in developing NASA’s strategy and policies and articulating them to the White House and Congress. ) Webb’s perspective also reflected political reality.
He had been a submarine officer during World War II and had a fascination with all things naval. Paine had a doctorate in physical metallurgy from Stanford and had spent his whole professional career with General Electric. Since 1963 he had been the manager of the General Electric “think tank” called TEMPO; there he was exposed to a wide variety of innovative technological ideas in both the civilian and national security sectors. He had had no particular exposure to the space program prior to coming to NASA.