Neil Armstrong, First Man On Moon, Passes Away


Neil Armstrong was a quiet self-described nerdy engineer who became a global hero when as a steely-nerved pilot he made “one giant leap for mankind” with a small step on to the moon. The modest man who had people on Earth entranced and awed from almost a quarter million miles away has died. He was 82.

Rest in peace.

Update (TL): Video added, at 2:57 seconds in, you can see Neil Armstrong step on the moon and say, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

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    NASA statement (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Cylinder on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 03:37:29 PM EST
    Neil Armstrong: 1930-2012

    Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, has died. He was 82.

    His family has released the following statement:

    "We are heartbroken to share the news that Neil Armstrong has passed away following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures.

    Neil was our loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend.

    Neil Armstrong was also a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job. He served his Nation proudly, as a navy fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut. He also found success back home in his native Ohio in business and academia, and became a community leader in Cincinnati.

    He remained an advocate of aviation and exploration throughout his life and never lost his boyhood wonder of these pursuits.

    As much as Neil cherished his privacy, he always appreciated the expressions of good will from people around the world and from all walks of life.

    While we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves.

    For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink."

    mr. armstrong and his crew landing on (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by cpinva on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 03:47:16 PM EST
    the moon, and his taking that first step, is one of those times i remember exactly where i was, and what i was doing. that was the tangible expression (for me, anyway), of one of my all-time favorite tv shows, Star Trek. he actually had gone where "no man had gone before".

    he was, and remains, a true american hero, in the finest sense of the word.

    I almost missed the exit from the LEM (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by cal1942 on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 04:11:10 PM EST
    We were leaving on a trip at midnight and after the landing set the alarm and laid down for a nap.  Drifted off only briefly and woke up.  

    Fortunate because Armstrong's exit from the LEM happened earlier than scheduled, IIRC by more than an hour.

    After watching Armstrong step on the moon and saying what I thought was "that's one small step for a man and one giant leap for mankind" I couldn't help but think of JFK.

    Monday morning driving through central New York the thought occurred that these guys were farther away from home than anyone had ever been.

    I have family roots (none / 0) (#17)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 05:22:04 AM EST
    in central NY.  That is beautiful country and I will always feel as if is home.  My Grandparents and other ancestors are buried that in Morrisville, Madison county.

    I'm not from New York (none / 0) (#21)
    by cal1942 on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 03:17:30 PM EST
    I'm from Michigan.  We were driving through New York on the way to Massachusetts.  Central New York is beautiful and home to some of my direct ancestors and kinsmen who settled there after the Revolution.

    My late father-in-law worked with all of the (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Angel on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 04:38:15 PM EST
    astronauts in his career as a NASA photographer, and I remember hearing wonderful stories about Mr. Armstrong and the other astronauts of that era.  I always thought those who were on the early missions and risked their lives going into space were so very brave.  

    They're all brave (none / 0) (#6)
    by rdandrea on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 04:44:19 PM EST
    Manned spaceflight is still no "gimmee."

    have you ever seen the movie (none / 0) (#18)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 05:23:48 AM EST
    "The Right Stuff"?  If not, then you should rent it.  Great movie about the early years of the NASA program.

    Yes, have seen it more than once. (none / 0) (#20)
    by Angel on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 08:40:19 AM EST
    Mr. Angel is a big space buff as he worked at NASA during his college summers, and his best friend and best man at our wedding spent his entire career there, as did his wife.  He has boxes of memorabilia from that time, early to late 60's, and we marvel over it all every now and then.  He grew up with all of the space stuff because of his father's job.  He would love to travel to the moon and back but that isn't going to happen in our lifetime.

    The references on the audio to "Buzz" (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Peter G on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 08:20:49 PM EST
    are to Buzz Aldrin, Armstrong's fellow crew member, who was the second astronaut down the ladder onto the moon.  He's the one you see sort of hopping around the Eagle lander, I believe, taking pictures.  Aldrin is still alive, and the same age as Armstrong was.

    The Small Step Images (none / 0) (#13)
    by Cylinder on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 08:47:59 PM EST
    Yup - Aldrin was the primary photographer on Apollo 11. The One Small Step video was taken from a camera mounted on the MESA - like an external luggage compartment for the LEM. As Armtrong egressed down the ladder, he deployed the MESA - which opened the external hatch and started the recording.

    Family website (none / 0) (#2)
    by Cylinder on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 03:42:30 PM EST
    The family is using the following website to help manage media information:


    Orbital docking (none / 0) (#7)
    by Cylinder on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 04:51:17 PM EST
    One fact less often mention is that Armstrong also piloted the first orbital docking maneuver - aboard Gemini * - which is probably just as important an acomplishment to spaceflight as landing to the moon.

    Iirc that was the mission (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by brodie on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 05:10:52 PM EST
    where we almost lost our first astronauts in space.  Upon disengaging from the docking object the Gemini capsule began spinning wildly out of control.  Armstrong kept his cool and I think by deciding to burn some "counter" jets he was able to stabilize the situation.  

    Probably it was this smart thinking under great duress that put Armstrong at the top of the list for the first Apollo landing mission.

    A great hero, and a bit of an enigma, for his great desire for privacy and for a few comments he made at the WH on the 25th anniversary, something cryptic to do with "wonders to discover for those able to remove Truth's protective layers."


    I remember.. (none / 0) (#9)
    by desertswine on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 05:42:18 PM EST
    that amazing July evening like it was yesterday. It was awe inspiring.

    I remember that night so well, too (none / 0) (#16)
    by Towanda on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 12:28:09 AM EST
    because my friends and I from college were at a farewell for another friend headed to Viet Nam.

    We saw the stuff on the screen.  We went outside, looked at the moon, and discussed how easily what we had seen on the screen could have been manufactured by Hollywood, like so many myths and lies all of our lives.

    We went back inside for more farewells to our friend.  

    He came home in a box.


    so sorry to hear about your friend (none / 0) (#19)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 05:36:55 AM EST
    I was twelve at the time.  I had a friend who went at about the same time as your friend.  He left as an acid dropping Hippie, spent his time there as a door gunner, and came back a conservative bible thumping baptist who went on to have many many many children ala the Duggars.  Whatever works as far as I am concerned.

    From first landing on the moon to (none / 0) (#10)
    by observed on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 06:29:43 PM EST
    first Iphone---what a giant leap in a strange direction this has been for mankind.
    Who would have guessed then that manned space exploration would not progress any further.

    A Thousand years from now, if people still live (none / 0) (#11)
    by scribe on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 07:08:38 PM EST
    Neil Armstrong's name and what he did will still be remembered.

    God Speed Neil. (none / 0) (#14)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 09:23:45 PM EST
    Geoff Robertson "Armstrong"

    Firsts (none / 0) (#15)
    by Cylinder on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 10:09:25 PM EST
    I love that video not only for the historic momement or the memorable quote. It also illustrates the ground-breaking nature of the mission. When Armstrong takes the leap from the egress ladder to the porch - the LM's footpad - the checklist requires him to jump back onto the ladder to make certain that they can get back in before Aldrin can egress. It hadn't been done before under lunar gravity and the ladder had to be short for weight requirements and to be clear of the footpad on landing.

    Seconds before that clip, Armstrong struggled with the LM hatch - the CABIN DEPRESS procedure was slower than predicted.

    Armstrong was one of the forerunners of the modern astronaut. Being a jet jockey wasn't enough anymore. They needed engineers to solve the problems to get to the moon in the first place and someone who could work a problem once they got there.