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Texas moon landing“Why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal?” asked President John F. Kennedy during a 1962 speech at Rice University’s football stadium. “Why does Rice play Texas?” We are a bold and confident people, he explained, willing—nay, eager—to take on difficult challenges simply to prove that we can.  In comparing the ambitions of NASA’s Apollo program to the Owls taking on the Longhorns, Kennedy hinted at a notion that we’ve chosen to embrace wholeheartedly: the moon is spiritually, if not geographically, part of Texas. After all, Houston is home to our nation’s human spaceflight program—where the astronauts train and where Mission Control guides them. The first word spoken on the moon, if you ignore some technical mutterings from Buzz Aldrin, was “Houston.”But…

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