Photos: Presidents And The American Space Program TweetShareGoogle+Email View Slideshow 1 of 5 President John F. Kennedy gets a lesson on the Saturn launch system from Wernher von Braun (center), a German rocket scientist who championed America's space exploration program, during a visit to Cape Canaveral on Nov. 16, 1963. NASA View Slideshow 2 of 5 NASA Administrator Robert Froscoch (right) shows a model of the space shuttle to President Jimmy Carter, first lady Rosalynn Carter and daughter Amy during their visit to the firing room of the Launch Control Center at Cape Canaveral in October 1978. Jeff Taylor / AP View Slideshow 3 of 5 President Bill Clinton sits at the controls of a space shuttle flight simulator at the Johnson Space Center in Houston in February 1994. Scott Applewhite / AP View Slideshow 4 of 5 Vice President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush await the landing of the space shuttle Discovery at Edwards Air Force Base in California in October 1988. Cynthia Johnson / Time Life Pictures/Getty Images View Slideshow 5 of 5 Making an extremely long-distance call, President Ronald Reagan (seated at center) speaks with the crew of the second space shuttle flight from Houston in November 1981. He jokingly asked if they could stop by Washington en route to their California landing site so he could come along with them. SSPL / Getty Images Originally published on May 23, 2012 11:56 am American Presidents have long showed their interest and fascination with space exploration. TweetShareGoogle+EmailView the discussion thread.