|President Kennedy asked Congress for millions to fund this "urgent request"
|1961: Kennedy pledges man on moon
President John F Kennedy has called for millions of dollars to fund a space programme to get the first man on the moon by 1970.
In a speech to a joint session of Congress broadcast on TV and radio around the United States, he asked for an extra $1,700m on the federal budget.
The largest proportion of this - $9,000m - would be spent on researching and developing ways of getting an American on the moon by the end of the decade.
"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 Earth," he said.
He said "this very urgent request" would not need to be funded by extra taxes provided the economy continued to grow and companies exercised wage and price restraint.
Russia's first man in space
This was his last address to the country before his meeting with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. He is still basking in the glory of Russia's latest achievements in space exploration - last month Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space.
Three weeks ago, when Alan Shepard became America's first astronaut, President Kennedy said the country had to "work with the utmost speed and vigour" to develop its space programme.
Today he demonstrated his total commitment to the project.
"If we were to go only half way or reduce our sights in the face of difficulty," he said, "it would be better not to go at all."
The director of Nasa, James Webb, was encouraged by the president's speech and said the US and the USSR were on a level playing field in their ambitions to land a man on the moon because as yet no Russian rockets were capable of such a mission.
Other Nasa officials told the Times newspaper that most of the funding would be used to research ways of reaching the moon, surviving on it and returning safely to Earth.