Neil Armstrong: The First Human who stepped on Moon

American astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped out of the lunar landing module 'Eagle', and became the first human to walk on the moon on 20 July 1969. From around 240,000 miles away from the Earth, Armstrong quoted these words that “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” to billions of people listening at home.
He was born on 5 August 1930 near Wapakoneta, Ohio. July 20 1969 was the day when Neil Armstrong made history, as he became the first man to walk on the moon.
From his childhood he was fascinated towards flights and aero planes and acquired his student pilot’s license when he was 16. In 1947, Armstrong started studying aeronautical engineering at Purdue University on a U.S. Navy scholarship.
His studies got interrupted in 1949 when he was called to serve in the Korean War. Armstrong a U.S. Navy pilot flew 78 combat missions during this military conflict. He left the service in 1952, and returned to college. Few years later, Armstrong joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), which later became the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). For this government agency, he worked in different capacities; this includes serving as a test pilot and an engineer. He tested numerous of high-speed aircrafts, including the X-15, which could reach a top speed of 4,000 miles per hour.

Armstrong married Janet Shearon on January 28, 1956. The couple had two children a son Eric was born in 1957 and followed by daughter Karen in 1959. Unfortunately, Karen died in January 1962 because of the complications related to an inoperable brain tumor.

Armstrong faced a huge challenge in 1969. Along with Michael Collins and Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin, he was a part of NASA’s first manned mission to the moon. The trio was launched into space on July 16, 1969.  Armstrong was serving as the mission’s commander, he piloted the Lunar Module to the moon’s surface on July 20, 1969, with Buzz Aldrin aboard. Collins remained on the Command Module.
At 10:56 PM, after exiting the Lunar Module the first words of Armstrong were, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” as he made his famous first step on the moon. For about two and a half hours, Armstrong and Aldrin did some experiments and collected samples. They also took photographs, including their own footprints.
Returning on July 24, 1969, the Apollo 11 craft came down in the Pacific Ocean west of Hawaii. The crew and the craft were picked up by the U.S.S. Hornet, and the three astronauts were put into quarantine for three weeks.
Later on, all the three Apollo 11 astronauts were given a warm welcome. Crowds covered the streets of New York City to cheer and celebrate the famous heroes who were honored in a ticker-tape parade. Armstrong received many awards for his efforts, including the Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.
Armstrong continued his work with NASA, serving as deputy associate administrator for aeronautics until 1971. After leaving NASA, he joined the faculty of the University of Cincinnati as a professor of aerospace engineering. Armstrong remained at the university for eight years. Staying active in his field, he served as the chairman of Computing Technologies for Aviation, Inc., from 1982 to 1992.
He also helped at difficult times, Armstrong also served as vice chairman of the Presidential Commission on the space shuttle Challenger accident in 1986. The commission investigated the explosion of the Challenger on January 28, 1986, which took the lives of its crew, including school teacher Christa McAuliffe.
Armstrong despite being one of the most famous astronauts in history, he usually shied away from the public eye. He was lesser interested in media and interviews. He gave a rare interview to the news program 60 Minutes in 2006. He described the moon to interviewer Ed Bradley, saying that “It’s a brilliant surface in that sunlight. The horizon seems quite close to you because the curvature is so much more pronounced than here on earth. It’s an interesting place to be. I recommend it.” That same year, his authorized biography came out. “First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong” was written by James R. Hansen, who conducted interviews with Armstrong, his family, and his friends and associates.
Armstrong and his first wife divorced in 1994. He spent his final years with his second wife, Carol, in Indian Hill, Ohio. He died at age 82 on August 25, 2012, several weeks after undergoing heart surgery.

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