Godspeed, Rocketman. RIP Neil Armstrong.

Posted: August 25th, 2012 in astronomy, heroes, NASA, space
Tags: , , ,

RIP Neil Armstrong

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

 What can I really say. Such terribly sad news. This man was, is and will always be a real hero to me… and millions of others.

I can only hope I have within myself a small portion of the stuff that this man had running through his veins.

Godspeed, Sir.

Astronaut Neil Armstrong, first man to walk on moon, dies at age 82

Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, died Saturday, weeks after heart surgery and days after his 82nd birthday.

Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, and he radioed back to Earth the historic news of “one giant leap for mankind.” He spent nearly three hours walking on the moon with fellow astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin. Armstrong and his wife, Carol, married in 1999, made their home in the Cincinnati suburb of Indian Hill, but he had largely stayed out of public view in recent years.

He spoke at Ohio State University during a February event honoring fellow astronaut John Glenn and the 50th anniversary of Glenn becoming the first American to orbit the Earth. In May, Armstrong joined Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida to support the opening of The National Flight Academy, which aims to teach math and science to kids through an aviation-oriented camp.

And now, let us relive the moment that thrilled us to the core…

the footprint

Here is the full text of his famous address… the one the profoundly misguided love to quote from:

Thank you, Mr. Vice President, Mr. President, members of Congress, fellow astronauts, ladies and gentlemen.

Wilbur Wright once noted that the only bird that could talk was the parrot, and he didn’t fly very well. So I’ll be brief. This week America has been recalling the Apollo program and reliving the memories of those times in which so many of us here, colleagues here in the first rows, were immersed. Our old astrogeology mentor, Gene Shoemaker, even called in one of his comets to mark the occasion with spectacular Jovian fireworks. And reminding us once again of the power and consequence of celestial extracurricular activities.

Many Americans were part of Apollo, about one or two in each thousand citizens, all across the country. They were asked by their country to do the impossible–to envisage the design and to build a method of breaking the bonds of earth’s gravity and then sally forth to visit another heavenly body. The principal elements–leaving earth, navigating in space and descending to a planet unencumbered with runways and traffic control–would include major requirements necessary for a space-faring people.

Today a space shuttle flies overhead with an international crew. A number of countries have international space programs. During the space age we have increased our knowledge of our universe a thousand-fold.

Today we have with us a group of students, among America’s best. To you we say we have only completed a beginning. We leave you much that is undone. There are great ideas undiscovered, breakthroughs available to those who can remove one of the truth’s protective layers. There are many places to go beyond belief. Those challenges are yours–in many fields, not the least of which is space, because there lies human destiny.

Peace

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