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Best Speeches: Decision to Go to the Moon

“and this generation does not intend to founder in the backwash of the coming age of space.”

founder v.

(of a ship) fill with water and sink. sink, submerge

“six drowned when the yacht foundered off the Florida coast”

(of a plan or undertaking) fail or break down, typically as a result of a particular problem or setback. fail, fall through

“the talks foundered on the issue of reform”

(of a hoofed animal, especially a horse or pony) succumb to laminitis.


n. the motion of receding waves.

“the backwash is reduced in energy by the percolation of water into the shingle”

v. clean (a filter) by reversing the flow of fluid through it.
“the very fine mesh is backwashed to remove solids”
“In short, our leadership in science and industry, our hopes for peace and security, and our obligations to ourselves as well as others, all require us to make this effort, to solve these mysteries, and to solve them for the good of all people, to become the world’s leading space-faring nation.”


the action or activity of traveling in space.
“the complications in spacefaring”
“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. “


“President Kennedy calls upon the three rhetorical appeals: he develops ethos through his humility and references to revered personages, like Isaac Newton, logos from his employment of scientific reasoning and historical facts, and pathos by connecting to his audience’s innate desire to strive for heroism. “


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