Neil Armstrong, First Man To Walk On Moon, Dead At Age 82
Neil Armstrong, a former United States astronaut and the first man to ever step foot on the surface of the moon, has died at the age of 82.
Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 mission which landed on the moon on July 20, 1969.
He retired from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration shortly after returning from his moon mission and became a professor of engineering at the University of Cincinnati.
Although he had been a Navy fighter pilot, a test pilot for NASA’s forerunner and an astronaut, Armstrong never allowed himself to be caught up in the celebrity and glamor of the space program.
“I am, and ever will be, a white socks, pocket protector, nerdy engineer,” he said in February 2000 in one of his rare public appearances. “And I take a substantial amount of pride in the accomplishments of my profession.”
A man who kept away from cameras, Armstrong went public in 2010 with his concerns about President Barack Obama’s space policy that shifted attention away from a return to the moon and emphasized private companies developing spaceships. He testified before\ Congress and in an email to The Associated Press, Armstrong said he had “substantial reservations,” and along with more than two dozen Apollo-era veterans, he signed a letter calling the plan a “misguided proposal that forces NASA out of human space operations
for the foreseeable future.”
Armstrong was born Aug. 5, 1930, on a farm near Wapakoneta in western Ohio. He took his first airplane ride at age 6 and developed a fascination with aviation that prompted him to build model airplanes and conduct experiments in a homemade wind tunnel.
At the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles on Saturday, visitors held a minute of silence in memory of Armstrong. His family’s statement made a simple request for anyone else who wanted to
remember him: “Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”
Armstrong is survived by his wife, Carol.