The primary argument for manned spaceflight has always been prestige. The enthusiasm to put men in space began after Sputnik, when the Soviet Union seemed to have stolen a march on the United States. The John F. Kennedy Space Center was originally planned to handle 50 Apollo launches a year. By 1965 most of the money for the program was spent in any case, invested in research and development on the huge Saturn launch vehicle and the Apollo spacecraft and in the facilities at Houston and Cape Canaveral that would launch and control the manned missions. The consensus was strong enough to sustain the Apollo program through the dark days after the Apollo fire of 1967 and through seven of the projected nine trips to the moon. Congressional support for National Aeronautics and Space Administration in general and the manned space program in particular has remained strong through good times and bad.