'150 years of MIT' is a series that looks at specific people and moments from MIT's 150-year history and explains their lasting effect on the Institute, the nation and the world. See the full interactive timeline at the MIT150 site. On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy laid out a vision for "landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth." Six months later, Charles Stark Draper responded to that call, volunteering his services as an Apollo crewmember. In a letter to NASA Associate Director Robert Seamans, Jr. — his former graduate student — "Doc," as Draper was affectionately known, wrote: I realize that my age of 60 years is a negative factor in considering my request, but … I will gladly undergo any physical examinations and tests that may be prescribed and will take any courses of training that may be recommended. ...
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