Neil Armstrong is famously
known as the first man to walk on the Moon. He is a former
American test pilot and U.S. astronaut and is currently retired.
He was a test pilot on the X-15 rocket plane and commander of
Gemini 8 and Apollo 11 missions.
Neil Armstrong was
born on 5th August, 1930 in Wapakoneta, Ohio, USA. His full name
is Neil Alden Armstrong.
Neil Armstrong was
interested in aviation from a young age. At 15 he worked in
various jobs in order to pay for his flying lessons. At 16
he got his student pilot's
licence before he was legally old enough to drive a car
and before he graduated from
Blume High School in Wapakoneta in 1947.
high school, Neil Armstrong received a scholarship from the U.S.
Navy. He enrolled at Purdue University
in West Lafayette, Indiana
and began his studies of aeronautical engineering,
but in 1949 the Navy called him to
In 1950 he was sent to Korea
and served as a naval pilot
during the Korean War. He
flew 78 combat missions from USS Essex in a Grumman F9F-2
Panther. He received three medals: the Air Medal and two Gold
Stars for his military service during the Korean War.
After the war, he left the Navy
and returned to Purdue in 1952 and graduated with a Bachelor of
Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering.
In 1955 Neil Armstrong joined
NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics - now known as
NASA) as a research pilot
at the NACA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Later that
transferred to the NACA
High Speed Flight Station
NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center)
at Edwards Air Force
Base in California where he
worked as a
test pilot for many experimental
high speed aircraft including the
X-15. From 1960 to 1962 he was
a pilot involved in the
X-20 Dyna-Soar orbital glider
In 1962 while serving as a test
pilot, Neil Armstrong was selected by NASA
to join the second
group of NASA's astronaut trainees (one
of nine NASA astronauts). He moved to El Lago, Texas, near
Houston's Manned Spacecraft Center to begin his astronaut
training and underwent 4 years of intensive training for the
Apollo program. His first
assignment was as backup command pilot for the Gemini 5 mission
In 1966, Neil Armstrong was
assigned as command pilot for the Gemini 8. Gemini 8 mission was
launched on March 16, 1966 and achieved the first docking of two
orbiting spacecraft. His first space flight was nearly a
disaster. He was in the first US emergency in space with his
partner David Scott when their spacecraft spun wildly out of
control. They returned to Earth safely.
He was the backup command pilot
for the Gemini 11 mission in 1966 and the commander of the
backup crew for the
Apollo 8 lunar orbital mission in 1968 using
In 1968, Neil
Armstrong was chosen to be a member of the
Apollo 11 mission,
the first manned lunar landing. The Apollo 11 crew were: Neil
Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin.
Apollo 11 was
launched on July 16, 1969 from Cape Kennedy, Florida by a
V rocket. Four days later it went into orbit around the Moon.
The lunar module Eagle separated from the Command Module with
Armstrong and Aldrin aboard and descended to the surface of the
Moon. Michael Collins remained in the Command Module in orbit.
During the moon landing,
Armstrong took manual control of the Lunar Module Eagle and
piloted it away from a rocky area and made a safe landing on the
moon. His first words from the Moon were: "Houston,
Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed".
Neil Armstrong was
the first person to walk on the moon on July 20, 1969. His first
words after stepping on the moon were, "That's one small step
for a man, one giant leap for mankind". This event was
televised to Earth and seen by millions! The Apollo 11 crew
returned safely to Earth on July 24, 1969.
From 1969 to 1971, Neil
Armstrong held the position of Deputy Association Administrator
for Aeronautics, NASA Headquarters Office of Advanced Research
Neil Armstrong resigned from
NASA in 1971 and became a professor of aerospace engineering at
the University of Cincinnati, where he was involved in both
teaching and research until 1979.
During the years
1982-1992, Armstrong was chairman of Computing Technologies for
Aviation Inc., Charlottesville, Virginia.
In 1986, he was
appointed as vice chairman of the presidential commission that
investigated the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster.
From 1989 until he
retired in 2002, he served as chairman of AIL Technologies (Deer
Park, New York), an electronics and avionics manufacturer.
Neil Armstrong died
on Saturday 25th, August 2012.
Neil Armstrong Pictures
* Neil Armstrong is one of only 12 people that have
walked on the Moon's surface in the 20th century. A lunar crater
close to Apollo 11 landing site is named after him in his
Neil Armstrong narrowly escaped death during training in the
crash of a Lunar Landing Research Vehicle on May 6, 1969.
* The Neil Armstrong
Air and Space Museum is located at 500 South Apollo Drive,
Wapakoneta, Ohio, USA. The museum is open year round. It opened
Gemini 8 Spacecraft flown by
Armstrong and David Scott in 1966, Armstrong's Gemini and Apollo
space suits, Moon rock brought by Apollo 11 crew and many other
Related Books and DVDs:
Apollo DVD - selection of
First Man : The Life of Neil A.
Armstrong by James R.
Hansen (Released on October, 2005)
One Giant Leap: Neil
Armstrong's Stellar American Journey by Leon Wagener
Neil Armstrong : Young Pilot (Childhood of Famous Americans)
by Montrew Dunham, Meryl Henderson - for ages 4-8
Neil Armstrong: An Unauthorized Biography
Neil Armstrong: The First Man on the Moon by Barbara
Neil Armstrong (Trailblazers
of the Modern World) by Tim Goss, Betsy Rasmussen (Editor) -
For ages 9-12
One Giant Leap: The Story of Neil
Armstrong by Don Brown
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