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"The Moon Speech"
John F. Kennedy at Rice University - September 12, 1962


Discription

1962年9月12日にライス大学のライス・スタジアムで行われたJFKの有名なスピーチです。この年、ライス大学はNASAに有人宇宙飛行センターのための広大な敷地を寄付しました。このスピーチはこれを記念したもので、ライス大学から名誉客員教授として招かれたケネディ大統領が、最初の講義を行うと言うスタイルで行われました。
かの有名な "We choose go to the moon." のくだりは、スピーチのちょうど真ん中あたり、8分40秒頃から始まります。


Copyright : Rice University

このあまりに有名なスピーチは、なぜこの時、この場所で行われなければならなかったんでしょうか?多くの名演説がそうであるように、このケネディ大統領の演説もその時代背景を色濃く反映したものでした。

この頃、アメリカとソビエト連邦の冷戦は両国の軍拡の中でかなり緊迫していました。しかし、アメリカはソ連にその代理戦争たる「宇宙開発競争」において、1957年10月4日の初の人工衛星スプートニク1号を皮切りにことごとく後塵を拝していました。

1961年4月、ソ連はアメリカに先駆けてウ゛ォストーク1号で初の有人地球周回飛行を行います。当然ながら、アメリカ国民の間には「我々はソ連に勝てないかもしれない」といういやーな雰囲気が蔓延しました。初の人工衛星に続き、初の有人飛行までソ連に先を越されてしまった...アラン・シェパードがアメリカ人初の弾道宇宙飛行に成功したのは、遅れること約1ヶ月、5月15日のことです。

実は、ケネディ大統領が「60年代の終わりまでに月に人間を送り込む」と宣言したのはこのスピーチが最初ではありません。彼は、アラン・シェパードのアメリカ人初の有人宇宙飛行の成功の20日後、1961年5月25日に議会で有人月探査計画に220億ドルもの予算を割くことを要求するスピーチを行っています。"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth" というもう一つの有名な彼の言葉は、ライス大学でのスピーチではなく、議会での演説のほうに登場します。

この議会での演説のさらに2ヶ月後、1961年7月21日にアメリカはガスグリソムによる2人目の弾道飛行を成功させます。やった、我々も負けていないじゃないかと思ったその矢先、同年8月6日に今度はソ連がウ゛ォストーク2号で1日中地球の周りを周回し続けるというミッションを成功させます。アメリカはまだ一周もしていないのに...

アメリカが初めて軌道周回飛行を成功させるのはその7ヶ月後、1962年2月20日のことです。このライススタジアムでのスピーチは、「アメリカがようやくソ連に追いついた」というタイミングで行われたんです。

このスピーチの中で大統領が繰り返し、繰り返し「我々が最初に月に行くんだ」と強調しているのは、「もうソ連の背中は見たくない」というアメリカ国民の想いを代弁するものです。そして、「in this decade」という無謀ともいえるあまりに短い目標は、この50年代後半から60年代前半の数年間の凄まじい開発競争からくる「いつまた追い越されるかわからない」という恐怖感の現れとも見えます。なにしろ、初の人工衛星の打ち上げから、初の有人飛行までたったの3年半しかかかっていないんですから。

この地にアポロ計画の中心地となる宇宙基地の建設がNASAから公式にアナウンスされたのはこのスピーチの1週間後、約1ヶ月後の10月24日には有人宇宙飛行センターが正式に発足し、12月にはアポロ計画の前段階となるジェミニ計画がスタートします。その中心となったのはもちろんヒューストンであり、その最も強力なパートナーの一つはこのスピーチが行われたライス大学でした。

*

ケネディ大統領が暗殺されたのは1963年11月22日。この時、ジェミニ計画はまだ有人での打ち上げが行われる前です。アポロ計画はスタートしていましたが、打ち上げ機であるサターンのテストをしている最初期の段階でした。彼は自分が始めた有人月探査計画が形になるずっと前に亡くなっています。

そして、アポロ11号の人類初の月面着陸は1969年7月20日、このスピーチからわずか8年後のことです。


Comment

せっかくですから、少し違うところに注目してみましょうか。

有名な 「We choose go to the moon.」というフレーズの直前、ケネディ大統領は、月着陸と比類する困難なチャレンジの中に「Why Rice play Texas」 という一節を挟み込んでいます。まあ、なんということもないちょっとしたジョークですが、あの日、彼の話を聞いていた多くのライス大学の学生や関係者が何を思ったのかを知る一端になるかもしれません。

このスピーチが行われたのが、ライススタジアムであることを考えれば、これがアメリカンフットボールの話であることは明らかです。実は、この"Why Rice play Texas"の解釈には諸説あり、テキサス大学の説明には「これは当時のテキサス大学の強さを大統領が認めているものだ」なんて書いてあります。確かに、この当時(実は今でもですが)、テキサス大学は全米のカレッジランキングでも必ずといっていいほど10位以内に入るようなフットボールの名門校でした。一方のライス大学は、いくつか健闘した年はあるものの、ほぼいつも20位以下の決して強いチームではありませんでした。

ただ、両者の直接対決の成績を見ると少し違う様子が見えてきます。ヒューストンをホームグラウンドとするライス大学のオウルズと、オースティンをホームグラウンドとするテキサス大学のロングホーンズは1914年以来ずっと同じリーグに属し、毎年試合を行っていました。実は、1954年から1965年までの約10年間、この2校の対戦はただ一度の例外を除いて、必ずホームチームが勝っているんです。試合をするグラウンドは毎年交代ですから、直接対決ではこの2校は拮抗していたといえるでしょう。

そう、この10年間、テキサス大学のホームグラウンドでは、ライス大学は勝つことができなかったんです。おそらく、ケネディ大統領の言葉は、この事実を踏まえたものでしょう。「Why Rice play Texas」この言葉を聞いたライス大学の人々は、なぜか相手のホームグラウンドで勝つことのできない直接対決を思い描いたかもれません、あるいは両校の力量の差を思ったかもしれません。そして、それに続く大統領の答えは、見事にフットボールに当てはまる言葉だけを使って表現されています。「not because they are easy, but because they are hard」「because that challenge is ... one which we intend to win, and the others, too.」ほかならぬこの場所で、この言葉を聞いた聴衆の熱狂は、想像するにあまりあります。

*

実はこの話にはまだ続きがあるんです。先ほど「ただ一度の例外を除いて」と書きましたが。その例外は1962年、そうこのスピーチが行われた直後に始まったリーグです。実はこの年、ライス大学は年間10試合のうち2勝しかできないという最悪の成績、全米ランキングは58位にとどまります。一方のテキサス大学はこの年リーグ優勝を決め、全米ランキングで8位になっています。この両者の直接対決は、ライス大学は3連敗の直後、テキサス大は5連勝の直後という状態で迎えられました。

誰もがこの試合はライス大学が負けてホームグラウンドでのジンクスが破られると思っていました。しかし、試合結果は14-14の同点。ジンクスは破られることはなく、ライス大はホームグランドを守ったんです。おそらく、ライス大学の人々は、試合中に、試合の後に、大統領の「Why Rice play Texas」というあの言葉を思い出したに違いありません。実際、この試合は今でも「負け続きのチームでもトップチームを同点にまで追い込むことがある」という例として大統領の言葉と共に、よく引き合いに出されます。


Transcript

President Pitzer, Mr. Vice President, Governor, Congressman Thomas, Senator Wiley, and Congressman Miller, Mr. Webb. Mr. Bell, scientists, distinguished guests, and ladies and gentlemen:

I appreciate your president having made me an honorary visiting professor, and I will assure you that my first lecture will be very brief. I am delighted to be here and I'm particularly delighted to be here on this occasion.

We meet at a college noted for knowledge, in a city noted for progress, in a State noted for strength, and we stand in need of all three, for we meet in an hour of change and challenge, in a decade of hope and fear, in an age of both knowledge and ignorance. The greater our knowledge increases, the greater our ignorance unfolds.

Despite the striking fact that most of the scientists that the world has ever known are alive and working today, despite the fact that this Nation's own scientific manpower is doubling every 12 years in a rate of growth more than three times that of our population as a whole, despite that, the vast stretches of the unknown and the unanswered and the unfinished still far out-strip our collective comprehension.

No man can fully grasp how far and how fast we have come, but condense, if you will, the 50,000 years of man's recorded history in a time span of but a half century. Stated in these terms, we know very little about the first 40 years, except at the end of them advanced man had learned to use the skins of animals to cover them. Then about 10 years ago, under this standard, man emerged from his caves to construct other kinds of shelter. Only 5 years ago man learned to write and use a cart with wheels. Christianity began less than 2 years ago. The printing press came this year, and then less than 2 months ago, during this whole 50-year span of human history, the steam engine provided a new source of power.

Newton explored the meaning of gravity. Last month electric lights and telephones and automobiles and airplanes became available. Only last week did we develop penicillin and television and nuclear power, and now if America's new spacecraft succeeds in reaching Venus, we will have literally reached the stars before midnight tonight.

This is a breathtaking pace, and such a pace cannot help but create new ills as it dispels old, new ignorance, new problems, new dangers. Surely the opening vistas of space promise high costs and hardships, as well as high reward.

So it is not surprising that some would have us stay where we are a little longer to rest, to wait. But this city of Houston, this State of Texas, this country of the United States was not built by those who waited and rested and wished to look behind them. This country was conquered by those who moved forward-and so will space.

William Bradford, speaking in 1630 of the founding of the Plymouth Bay Colony, said that all great and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and both must be enterprised and overcome with answerable courage.

If this capsule history of our progress teaches us anything, it is that man, in his quest for knowledge and progress, is determined and cannot be deterred. The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join in it or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in this race for space.

Those who came before us made certain that this country rode the first waves of the industrial revolutions, the first waves of modern invention, and the first wave of nuclear power, and this generation does not intend to founder in the backwash of the coming age of space. We mean to be a part of it - we mean to lead it. For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace. We have vowed that we shall not see space filled with weapons of mass destruction, but with instruments of knowledge and understanding.

Yet the vows of this Nation can only be fulfilled if we in this Nation are first, and, therefore, we intend to be first. In short, our leadership in science and in industry, our hopes for peace and security, our obligations to ourselves as well as others, all require us to make this effort, to solve these mysteries, to solve them for the good of all men, and to become the world's leading space-faring nation.

We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war. I do not say that we should or will go unprotected against the hostile misuse of space any more than we go unprotected against the hostile use of land or sea, but I do say that space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war, without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours.

There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain. Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?

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.

It is for these reasons that I regard the decision last year to shift our efforts in space from low to high gear as among the most important decisions that will be made during my incumbency in the Office of the Presidency.

In the last 24 hours we have seen facilities now being created for the greatest and most complex exploration in man's history. We have felt the ground shake and the air shattered by the testing of a Saturn C-1 booster rocket, many times as powerful as the Atlas which launched John Glenn, generating power equivalent to 10,000 automobiles with their accelerators on the floor. We have seen the site where five F-1 rocket engines, each one as powerful as all eight engines of the Saturn combined, will be clustered together to make the advanced Saturn missile, assembled in a new building to be built at Cape Canaveral as tall as a 48-story structure, as wide as a city block, and as long as two lengths of this field.

Within these last 19 months at least 45 satellites have circled the earth. Some 40 of them were "made in the United States of America" and they were far more sophisticated and supplied far more knowledge to the people of the world than those of the Soviet Union.

The Mariner spacecraft now on its way to Venus is the most intricate instrument in the history of space science. The accuracy of that shot is comparable to firing a missile from Cape Canaveral and dropping it in this stadium between the 40-yard lines.

Transit satellites are helping our ships at sea to steer a safer course. Tiros satellites have given us unprecedented warnings of hurricanes and storms, and will do the same for forest fires and icebergs.

We have had our failures, but so have others, even if they do not admit them. And they may be less public.

To be sure, we are behind, and will be behind for some time in manned flight. But we do not intend to stay behind, and in this decade we shall make up and move ahead.

The growth of our science and education will be enriched by new knowledge of our universe and environment, by new techniques of learning and mapping and observation, by new tools and computers for industry, medicine, the home as well as the school. Technical institutions, such as Rice, will r eap the harvest of these gains.

And finally, the space effort itself, while still in its infancy, has already created a great number of new companies, and tens of thousands of new jobs. Space and related industries are generating new demands in investment and skilled personnel, and this city and this State, and this region, will share greatly in this growth. What was once the furthest outpost on the old frontier of the West will be the furthest outpost on the new frontier of science and space. Houston, your City of Houston, with its Manned Spacecraft Center, will become the heart of a large scientific and engineering community. During the next 5 years the National Aeronautics and Space Administration expects to double the number of scientists and engineers in this area, to increase its outlays for salaries and expenses to $60 million a year; to invest some $200 million in plant and laboratory facilities; and to direct or contract for new space efforts over $1 billion from this Center in this City.

To be sure, all this costs us all a good deal of money. This year's space budget is three times what it was in January 1961, and it is greater than the space budget of the previous 8 years combined. That budget now stands at $5,400 million a year-a staggering sum, though somewhat less than we pay for cigarettes and cigars every year. Space expenditures will soon rise some more from 40 cents per person per week to more than 50 cents a week for every man, woman, and child in the United States, for we have given this program a high national priority even though I realize that this is in some measure an act of faith and vision, for we do not now know what benefits await us. But if I were to say, my fellow citizens, that we shall send to the moon, 240,000 miles away from the control station in Houston, a giant rocket more than 300 feet tall, the length of this football field, made of new metal alloys, some of which have not yet been invented, capable of standing heat and stresses several times more than have ever been experienced, fitted together with a precision better than the finest watch, carrying all the equipment needed for propulsion, guidance, control, communications, food and survival, on an untried mission, to an unknown celestial body, and then return it safely to earth, reentering the atmosphere at speeds of over 25,000 miles per hour, causing heat about half that of the temperature of the sun - almost as hot as it is here today - and do all this, and do it right, and do it first before this decade is out, then we must be bold.

I'm the one who is doing all the work, so we just want you to stay cool for a minute. [Laughter]

However, I think we're going to do it, and I think that we must pay what needs to be paid. I don't think we ought to waste any money, but I think we ought to do the job. And this will be done in the decade of the sixties. It may be done while some of you are still here at school at this college and university. It will be done during the terms of office of some of the people who sit here on this platform. But it will be done. And it will be done before the end of this decade.

I am delighted that this university is playing a part in putting a man on the moon as part of a great national effort of the United States of America.

Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said, "Because it is there."

Well, space is there, and we're going to climb it, and the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. And, therefore, as we set sail we ask God's blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked.

Thank you.

Reference

John F. Kennedy Moon Speech - Rice Stadium (NASA/JSC)
Men's College Football - History

Audio file info.

Audio file URL: http://www.lizard-tail.com/isana/podcast/the_moon_speech.mp3
Podcast URL: http://www.lizard-tail.com/isana/podcast/feed.xml

Title : The Moon Speech - John F. Kennedy at Rice University - September 12, 1962
Publication date : 2005/11/11
Dulation : 00:17:46
File size : 8,502,670 bytes
Copyright : Rice University

by isana kashiwai
isana [at] ma.neweb.ne.jp