Tributes are flowing in for Neil Armstrong, the quiet, self-described nerdy engineer who became a global hero when he stepped on to the moon.
“As long as there are history books, Neil Armstrong will be included in them, remembered for taking humankind’s first small step on a world beyond our own”
Neil Armstrong died on Saturday at aged 82 from complications following heart surgery.
Before becoming an astronaut, Armstrong was a United States Navy officer and had served in the Korean War. After the war, he served as a test pilot at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics High-Speed Flight Station, now known as the Dryden Flight Research Center, where he flew over 900 flights in a variety of aircraft. He graduated from Purdue University and the University of Southern California.
A participant in the U.S. Air Force’s Man In Space Soonest and X-20 Dyna-Soar human spaceflight programs, Armstrong joined the NASA Astronaut Corps in 1962. His first spaceflight was the NASA Gemini 8 mission in 1966, for which he was the command pilot, becoming one of the first U.S. civilians in space. On this mission, he performed the first manned docking of two spacecraft with pilot David Scott.
(taken from wikipedia)
Neil Alden Armstrong (August 5, 1930 – August 25, 2012) was an American astronaut, test pilot, aerospace engineer, university professor and United States Naval Aviator. He was the first human to ever set foot upon the Moon.
NASA chief Charles Bolden recalled Armstrong’s grace and humility in a statement on Saturday. “As long as there are history books, Neil Armstrong will be included in them, remembered for taking humankind’s first small step on a world beyond our own” Bolden said.
The third astronaut on Armstrong’s fateful mission in 1969, Michael Collins, told NASA on Saturday said: “He was the best, and I will miss him terribly”
1966: Astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and David R. Scott at a simulated test in preparation for space flight.
July 20, 1969: Astronaut Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr beside the US flag deployed on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission.
Quotes reacting to Armstrong’s death
– ‘‘When I think of Neil, I think of someone who for our country was dedicated enough to dare greatly.’’ – John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth and Armstrong’s close friend.
– ‘‘He was the best, and I will miss him terribly.’’ – Michael Collins, who flew to the moon with Armstrong and served as the command module pilot. –
– ‘‘On behalf of the Aldrin family we extend our deepest condolences to Carol & the entire Armstrong family on Neil’s passing. He will be missed.’’ – Buzz Aldrin, second man on the moon, via Twitter.
– ‘‘Neil was among the greatest of American heroes – not just of his time, but of all time. When he and his fellow crew members lifted off aboard Apollo 11 in 1969, they carried with them the aspirations of an entire nation. They set out to show the world that the American spirit can see beyond what seems unimaginable – that with enough drive and ingenuity, anything is possible. And when Neil stepped foot on the surface of the moon for the first time, he delivered a moment of human achievement that will never be forgotten.’’ – President Barack Obama.
Images thanks to NASA, written by The Age & WikiTommy