|First Steps: Neil Armstrong descends the ladder of Apollo 11's lunar module on July 20, 1969 (at 10:56 pm EDT) . Polaroid image of slow scan television monitor at Goldstone Station. |
Photo Credit:NASA; NASA image S69-42583
Neil Armstrong, American hero and the first man to walk on the moon, died yesterday; he was 82. Armstrong was one of only 12 men to set foot on the moon between 1969 and 1972. An Associated Press article by Lisa Cornwell and Seth Borenstein captures what all of us felt about this man.
Neil Armstrong was a soft-spoken engineer who became a global hero when as a steely-nerved pilot he made "one giant leap for mankind" with a small step onto the moon. The modest man, who had people on Earth entranced and awed from almost a quarter-million miles away, but credited others for the feat, died Saturday. He was 82.
Armstrong died following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures, his family said in a statement. It didn't say where he died; he had lived in suburban Cincinnati.
Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon July 20, 1969, capping the most daring of the 20th century's scientific expeditions. His first words after becoming the first person to set foot on the surface are etched in history books and the memories of those who heard them in a live broadcast.
"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," Armstrong said.As I have written previously, I was 11 when Armstrong said those words 43 years ago, forever etched in my memory. Mr. Armstrong was among my childhood heroes; I had his poster taped to my wall, just above my bed; Mr. Armstrong inspired me to enter the field of engineering; Mr. Armstrong's example showed me how to think big but to do so with a mix of awe and humility, and, may I add, with a generous dose of humour.
Thank you, Neil Armstrong, for setting the bar so high in terms of what a human can achieve. We need it, now more than ever.
You can read the rest of the article at [US News & World Report]