“And in December, while I do not regard our mastery of space as anywhere near complete, while I recognize that there are still areas where we are behind — at least in one area, the size of the booster — this year I hope the United States will be ahead.”
From President John F. Kennedy’s speech at the Dedication of the Aerospace Medical Health Center in San Antonio, November 21, 1963.
President Kennedy regarded the success of the Saturn I SA-5 heavy booster, a major milestone to the mighty Saturn V, as the moment where the United States would overtake the lead the USSR has held since the launch of Sputnik, in October 1957.
The President would be assassinated the following day. The first Saturn I SA-5 would successfully launch on January 29th, 1964.