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Khrushchev: No Plans To Put Soviet Astronaut on Moon

Oct. 26, 1963 - Premier Khrushchev has declared that the Soviet Union would not race the U.S. to put a man on the moon. The statement also ruled out a joint statement, suggested by President Kennedy, for a manned lunar trip. The Premier said in a statement: “At the present time, we do not plan flights of cosmonauts to the moon. I have read a report that the Americans wish to land a man on the moon by 1970. Well, let’s wish them success. And we will see how they will fly there and, most important, how they will come back. We will take their experience into account. We do not wish to compete in sending people to the moon without thorough preparation. It is obvious there would be no benefit from such competition. For us, it is good enough on earth.” Mr. Khrushchev’s statement indicated the Soviet Union might be having second thoughts on the immense cost of such a project in the face of mounting domestic difficulties stemming from crop failures. His remarks were made to a group of Asian, African, Latin American, and Soviet journalists who recently attended a Moscow-sponsored press rally in Algiers. Khrushchev receved them in the Kremlin yesterday, but his replies to their questions were not released for publication until today. NASA said that Khrushchev’s remarks would not result in any change in their plans.


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