Spacedaily writes to say about President. Kennedy's Sept 20th 1963 address to the UN General Assembly

"I include among these possibilities," he added, "a joint expedition to the Moon." Why, the President asked, should the United States and the Soviet Union conduct parallel efforts that would include "duplication, of research, construction, and expenditure?"

The article referenced suggests the hint of joint-cooperation in space may have sprung from a view to share/reduce cost & effort. Assuming this to be true brings one to the question -

In what areas was the relevant Soviet technology more developed than that of the United States at that time? Or would such collaboration simply have shared the burden of research, development, implementation, and execution in a field equally new to both parties in all aspects?

  • $\begingroup$ You know, this could be fun. I answered for 1963. How about answering for different decades or different eras? $\endgroup$
    – geoffc
    Oct 21, 2013 at 12:23

1 Answer 1


At the very start of Apollo? Very little, beyond a basic launcher. Everything else was mostly developed on the fly for Apollo. Pretty much all of Gemini was developing ideas to use for Apollo. At the time of the announcement by JFK very little existed in either sides.

Basic engine design might have helped, but in the end, the US did a better job at large liquid fueled rockets (F-1 at 1.5 Million lbs thrust vs the NK-33 at 300 Klbs (and needing 30 of them on the first stage!)).

Perhaps, a different outcome, favouring Earth Orbit Rendezvous would resulted from such a collaboration. The ability to build the Saturn V with its very impressive payload capability helped make Lunar Orbit Rendezvous the better choice for faster delivery of a mission.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The real set of technologies developed for the Soviet lunar programs will become known in the upcoming years. 1968 + 50 years = 2018. From the top of my head: Remotely controlled Lunokhod rovers for landing site and base placement pre-selection; automatic control systems for the spacecrafts. $\endgroup$
    – user54
    Oct 22, 2013 at 11:56

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