Since July 1969, the moon has assigned a new name to our planet- Neil Armstrong’s planet. Whenever the moon is talked of, Armstrong’s name is the first to be discussed. Born in 1930 in Ohio, Neil was the first person to walk on the moon. It was his father who first made flying look attractive to him at the age of 6 when he took Neil for an airplane ride even before that he used to accompany his father to the Cleveland Air Races which were a spectacular extravaganza for the little Neil.
He is one rare person who got his flying license, at the age of 16, earlier than his driving license. By then he had completely fallen in love with flying, and his career in the field was almost guaranteed.
Neil served as a Naval Aviator between 1949-1952 and later went on to get his UG degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1955. While being a naval aviator, he had also been a part of the Korean War and ran around 78 combat missions. Neil completed his Masters in Aerospace engineering in 1970. Before his masters, he had already been awarded the status of an astronaut in 1962 by NASA.
Neil has donned the hat of an engineer, astronaut, test pilot, and has also worked as the administrator of NASA. His another accomplishment is that he has flown more than 200 distinguished aircraft models which include helicopters, rockets, gliders, and aircraft.
With the Gemini 8, Mission began the journey of recognition for him. Neil was the command pilot under this mission, and he successfully docked 2 vehicles in space, becoming the first person to do so. Soon after the mission became ugly as thruster rocked witnessed malfunctioning and started behaving strangely. It was Armstrong’s presence of mind which helped the spacecraft land safely to its designated place.
To the moon and afterward
Apollo 11 was the next project assigned to him. It was the first time a spacecraft was to land on the moon. When Neil dropped the message, “the eagle has landed,” he made history which was meant to stay fresh for centuries to come. Apart from the craft that landed on the moon, Neil Armstrong himself became the first person to walk on the moon. It is be going to be a historic moment, and Neil was aware of this thing, but the way in which everyone would shower praise and respect was something he was unaware of.
The over 200,000-mile journey that took four days was successful and opened the door for more scientific evolution in the future. He along with Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon for around 3 hours and conducted many experiments to know more about the moon. A heroic welcome was waiting for them on return. TV slots were filled with the live telecast of launching and landing of the spacecraft on the moon.
After that fantastic journey, Armstrong worked for NASA as a Deputy Associate Administrator for Aeronautics. In 1971, Armstrong decided to quit NASA and went on to work as an aerospace engineering professor, at the University of Cincinnati, for the next 8 years. Mostly after the Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong decided to stay away from the limelight.
The period 1982-1992 saw Armstrong holding the post of Chairman of Computing Technologies for Aviation, Inc. in Charlottesville. Some years later, Armstrong was seen as a member of the presidential Rogers Commission whose aim was to look into the events and causes of the Challenger Shuttle explosion in which 7 astronauts were killed.
He received many special honors from different countries some of which include the Presidential Medal Of Freedom, Explorers Club Medal, the Congressional Medal of Honor, among others.
Even when he was not that active publicly, Neil never left keeping a tab on the news related to space missions and discoveries. For a man who got what he dreamt of, living life to the fullest was always a priority.
Moments of his last breath
His death was a sudden and a sad happening. He went through a cardiovascular surgery which didn’t go down well eventually. Initially, it was reported that he was recovering well days before he took his last breath. Armstrong’s journey is one of a huge accomplishment which may not have been possible otherwise. He has shown the world the way forward. His family, in an emotional note, said after his that if you ever miss Neil, look at them and give a smile.
He, with his ever inspiring life, has set an example for the younger generation to follow. Neil’s life should be seen as a symbol of hard work and determination. Not only America’s but Neil has been a hero for the entire mankind. With his work and knowledge in the respective field, Neil has made sure that history books never get rid of him.