Saturday, August 25, 2012

One Small Step For Mankind

On July 21, 1969 at 02:56 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time), Neil Armstrong stepped out of the LEM (Lunar Excursion Module) The Eagle and onto the surface of the moon with the words:
"This is one small step for man.  One giant leap for mankind."
He was followed a few seconds later by Edwin Eugene "Buzz" Aldrin Jr.  On that day, that time, they were written into the history books as the first Americans, the first men, the first humans to set first on any world, any moon, any place off of the Planet Earth.  With their courage, the Human Race started on its journey into the Final Frontier.

Neil Armstrong was born on Aug. 5, 1930 in Wapakoneta, Ohio.  He attended Blume High School and was an Eagle Scout.  (He was awarded Distinguished Eagle Scout and the Silver Buffalo Award later in life.)  He attended Purdue University and entered the US Navy in 1949, became a pilot, earned a Master's Degree, then became a test pilot.  He was chosen for the Space Program in 1962 and first flew into space aboard Gemini 8 on September 20, 1965.

On July 16, 1969 at 13:32 UTC Apollo 11 lifted off the surly bonds of Earth and flew into history.

After his historic flight, the weeks of quarantine, the ticker tape parade, the adoration from the world, Neil Armstrong retired from NASA and Space Flight in 1971.  He taught Aerospace Engineering at University of Cincinnati.  He was asked to join the investigation committees for both Apollo 13 and the Challenger disaster.

Neil Armstrong died on August 25, 2012 due to complications from surgery.  He is survived by his wife Carol and 2 adult sons from a previous marriage.

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