Neil Armstrong Biography

Full Name: Neil Armstrong
Occupation: Astronaut
Date of Birth: Aug 5, 1930
Place of Birth: Wapakoneta, Ohio, U.S.
Date of Death: Aug 25, 2012
Place of Death: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.


Neil Armstrong, an American astronaut, was the first person to walk on the Moon.

Neil Alden Armstrong was born on August 5, 1930, in Wapakoneta, Ohio, to Stephen and Viola Armstrong. Neil first rode in a plane at the age of 6, and he became a licensed pilot on the day he turned 16, before he had a driver's license. About one year later, he became a naval air cadet.

Armstrong studied aeronautical engineering at Purdue University in Indiana until 1950, when he was called to serve in the Korean War as a naval aviator. He flew 78 combat missions and was shot down once. He received three Air Medals.

After the war, he returned to his studies. He graduated in 1955, then became a civilian research pilot for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), which would later become the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). During his career, he flew more than 1,100 hours. He tested supersonic fighters and the X-15 rocket plane, which could fly at more than 4,000 miles per hour. During his time, he began studying for his master's degree at the University of Southern California.

In 1956, Armstrong married Janet Shearon. They had two children, Eric and Karen; sadly, Karen died of a brain tumor at the age of 3. 

Armstrong joined the space program in 1962. Four years later, he was the command pilot of Gemini 8. He and astronaut David R. Scott completed the first manual space docking maneuver, rendezvousing with an unmanned rocket, the Agena. However, a malfunction caused Gemini 8 to spin. Armstrong separated Gemini from the rocket and made an emergency landing in the Pacific Ocean.

On July 16, 1969, a Saturn V rocket launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, propelling three astronauts toward the Moon. This Apollo 11 crew included Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin Jr., and Michael Collins. The Eagle lunar landing module touched down on the Sea of Tranquility four days later, and, on July 20, 1969, Armstrong set foot on the Moon's surface. He had planned to say, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind," but the article "a" was not heard. The question remains as to whether he forgot the word or simply said it softly, but the world knows the quote as "That's one small step for man…." More than half a billion people gathered around televisions to watch Armstrong take his first steps. 

Armstrong and Aldrin spent more than two hours on the Moon's surface, deploying instruments, collecting samples, taking photographs, and bouncing in low gravity, while Collins remained in orbit in the command module Columbia. The landing module remained on the Moon for more than 21 hours, then lifted off to rendezvous with Collins on July 21. Columbia splashed down in the Pacific on July 24, then the crew spent 18 days in quarantine.

Following his historic journey and a whirlwind of appearances and interviews, Armstrong received his master's degree in aerospace engineering from USC. He retired from NASA in 1971.

Armstrong shared his knowledge as a professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio from 1971 to 1979. After he retired from academia, he served on the boards of many companies, including Computing Technologies for Aviation and AIL Systems (later known as EDO Corporation). He continued his involvement with the American space program, serving as a member of the National Commission on Space (NCOS), vice-chairman of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident, and chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee for the Peace Corps.

Armstrong and his first wife divorced in 1994, and he married Carol Held Knight in that same year.

He received many prestigious awards for his service, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, the Congressional Gold Medal, and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal. He was decorated by 17 countries.

Neil Armstrong died on August 25, 2012, at the age of 82, following heart surgery. He will always be remembered as the first man to walk on the Moon. His footsteps could remain on the lunar surface for many thousands of years, if left undisturbed by future visitors, because the Moon has no wind.

Neil Armstrong, an American astronaut, was the first person to walk on the Moon.

Neil Alden Armstrong was born on August 5, 1930, in Wapakoneta, Ohio, to Stephen and Viola Armstrong. Neil first rode in a plane at the age of 6, and he became a licensed pilot on the day he turned 16, before he had a driver's license. About one year later, he became a naval air cadet.

Armstrong studied aeronautical engineering at Purdue University in Indiana until 1950, when he was called to serve in the Korean War as a naval aviator. He flew 78 combat missions and was shot down once. He received three Air Medals.

After the war, he returned to his studies. He graduated in 1955, then became a civilian research pilot for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), which would later become the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). During his career, he flew more than 1,100 hours. He tested supersonic fighters and the X-15 rocket plane, which could fly at more than 4,000 miles per hour. During his time, he began studying for his master's degree at the University of Southern California.

In 1956, Armstrong married Janet Shearon. They had two children, Eric and Karen; sadly, Karen died of a brain tumor at the age of 3. 

Armstrong joined the space program in 1962. Four years later, he was the command pilot of Gemini 8. He and astronaut David R. Scott completed the first manual space docking maneuver, rendezvousing with an unmanned rocket, the Agena. However, a malfunction caused Gemini 8 to spin. Armstrong separated Gemini from the rocket and made an emergency landing in the Pacific Ocean.

On July 16, 1969, a Saturn V rocket launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, propelling three astronauts toward the Moon. This Apollo 11 crew included Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin Jr., and Michael Collins. The Eagle lunar landing module touched down on the Sea of Tranquility four days later, and, on July 20, 1969, Armstrong set foot on the Moon's surface. He had planned to say, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind," but the article "a" was not heard. The question remains as to whether he forgot the word or simply said it softly, but the world knows the quote as "That's one small step for man…." More than half a billion people gathered around televisions to watch Armstrong take his first steps. 

Armstrong and Aldrin spent more than two hours on the Moon's surface, deploying instruments, collecting samples, taking photographs, and bouncing in low gravity, while Collins remained in orbit in the command module Columbia. The landing module remained on the Moon for more than 21 hours, then lifted off to rendezvous with Collins on July 21. Columbia splashed down in the Pacific on July 24, then the crew spent 18 days in quarantine.

Following his historic journey and a whirlwind of appearances and interviews, Armstrong received his master's degree in aerospace engineering from USC. He retired from NASA in 1971.

Armstrong shared his knowledge as a professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio from 1971 to 1979. After he retired from academia, he served on the boards of many companies, including Computing Technologies for Aviation and AIL Systems (later known as EDO Corporation). He continued his involvement with the American space program, serving as a member of the National Commission on Space (NCOS), vice-chairman of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident, and chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee for the Peace Corps.

Armstrong and his first wife divorced in 1994, and he married Carol Held Knight in that same year.

He received many prestigious awards for his service, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, the Congressional Gold Medal, and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal. He was decorated by 17 countries.

Neil Armstrong died on August 25, 2012, at the age of 82, following heart surgery. He will always be remembered as the first man to walk on the Moon. His footsteps could remain on the lunar surface for many thousands of years, if left undisturbed by future visitors, because the Moon has no wind.

 

RESEARCH SOURCES

Canright, Shelley. "Apollo 11 — First Footprint on the Moon." NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/k-4/home/F_Apollo_11.html.

Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. "Neil Armstrong." Britannica, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 21 August 2019, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Neil-Armstrong.

History.com Editors. "Neil Armstrong." History, A&E Television Networks, LLC, 17 July 2020, https://www.history.com/topics/space-exploration/neil-armstrong.

Kelly Sands. "Biography of Neil Armstrong." NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 10 July 2019, https://www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/about/bios/neilabio.html.

NASA Administrator. "July 20, 1969: One Giant Leap For Mankind." NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 15 July 2019, https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/apollo/apollo11.html.

USC News. "Neil Armstrong Takes One Small Step for USC's Commencement." USC News, USC University Communications, 5 September 2005, https://news.usc.edu/23057/Neil-Armstrong-Takes-One-Small-Step-for-USC-s-Commencement/.

 

FURTHER READING

Barbree, Jay. Neil Armstrong. Griffin, 2015 — https://www.amazon.com/dp/1250040728/.

Editors of Life. LIFE Neil Armstrong 1930-2012: "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind. Life, 2012 — https://www.amazon.com/dp/1618930737/.

Hansen, James R. First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong. Simon & Schuster, 2005 — https://www.amazon.com/dp/074325631X/.

 

BODY OF WORK

Armstrong, Neil, Michael Collins, and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. First on the Moon: A Voyage With Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. Little Brown, 1970 — https://www.amazon.com/dp/0316051608/.

NASA Administrator. "July 20, 1969: One Giant Leap For Mankind — Apollo 11 Moonwalk Montage." NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 15 July 2019, https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/apollo/apollo11.html.

 

USER-GENERATED WEBSITES

"Neil Armstrong," Wikipedia — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_Armstrong.

 

Author Bio
Carolyn Brooks Fleming is a contributing writer, editor, and researcher at Famous Quotes. She started telecommuting before it was cool. Her specialties include writing and editing
copy for businesses and nonprofits, creating literary study guides, researching biographical facts and quotes, and crafting online quizzes.
Based in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., Carolyn enjoys cooking, discovering new podcasts, and laughing every day with her husband and daughter.

 

 

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