And for the last half-century, his name has been affixed to the vast enterprise at the heart of America's many voyages into space, NASA's Kennedy Space Center. The space agency notes that it was 50 years ago this week, on July 1, 1962, that the launch facility at Cape Canaveral in Florida took on full-fledged center status, no longer under the auspices of the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama.
Here we see President Kennedy (wearing sunglasses) gazing skyward in the company of Wernher von Braun, the expatriate German scientist who was critical to the early development of the U.S. rocket program, during a trip to Cape Canaveral's Launch Complex 37 on November 16, 1963.
For more on the Apollo 11 mission, see "Photos: The Apollo 11 moon landing."
For more about Columbia's first flight, see "When the space shuttle was new (photos)."