On Saturday, 25 August 2012, the worldwide aerospace community lost one of its greatest heroes. “Neil Armstrong was a hero not just of his time, but of all time,” describes President Barack Obama in a statement released the day of Armstrong’s death. “Thank you, Neil, for showing us the power of one small step.”
Neil Armstrong, commander of NASA’s historic Apollo 11 mission, became the first person to walk on the surface of the moon on 20 July 1969, at which time he exclaimed the now-famous and oft-repeated words: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Born 5 August 1930 in Wapakoneta, Ohio, Armstrong began his impressive career in the role of aerospace engineer; yet, throughout his active life, he would hold many illustrious titles: U.S. Navy Aviator, test pilot, university professor, and American astronaut. A veteran, he served the nation as a U.S. Navy officer in the Korean War, after which he logged more than 900 flights as a test pilot. He graduated from Perdue University and completed his graduate studies at the University of Southern California (USC). He retired from the Navy in 1960, but it certainly (and thankfully) wasn’t the end of his career.
This geek could fill volumes with information and accolades about the late Neil Armstrong. At the very least, one more blog entry will be devoted to the hero, whom we lost to coronary artery disease (a common killer) and complications from bypass surgery earlier this month. Be sure to read the next installment for more about Armstrong’s legacy.