President Kennedy and Foy Kohler on US-USSR Space Cooperation
President Kennedy: The other thing I talked to him about was space. I don’t know whether we could ever –
Foy Kohler: They were very intrigued by this, Mr. President. I mentioned this when I talked to Gromyko before I left and it was obvious that they were intrigued but a little puzzled by this. I referred to it as a very imagining thing and asked whether they had given any thought to it. He said, well, they agreed it was imaginative. (pause) They’re obviously interested in this – by implication, they are clearly concerned about the cost of these damn things – about a race in space. So Gromyko said, well, it’s a very interesting idea and we would like you to come up with something more definite which we can take a look at. So far, I haven’t been able to consult with all the right people here to see whether anything can be developed.
President Kennedy: I would like to have an agreement on when we both try to go to the moon, then we wouldn’t have this intensive race –I don’t know whether they are going to the moon. Lovell says not.
Kohler: I think maybe he’s right. They have got – you think you have a serious resource distribution problem but believe me, Mr. Khrushchev has a more serious one. The pressure of the claims on a very limited budget must be enormous there and he does refer to it occasionally. Well my military people say one more, my scientist are always waning more – the pressures must be great when resources are very limited.
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