Biography of Neil Armstrong

In the firmament August 5, 1930
August 25, 2012

Who is Neil Armstrong?

Neil Alden Armstrong, born on August 5, 1930 in Wapakoneta, Ohio, before embarking on that brilliant career that led him to be the first man to set foot on the Moon, he graduated in aeronautical engineering at Purdue University and earned a master's degree in aerospace engineering at the University of Southern California. From 1949 to 1952 Armstrong was a Navy Aviator and, after leaving the Navy, became a test pilot (many new tester for high-speed aircraft, including the X-15 capable of 7,000 km/h. Flew about 200 different models of aircraft, including jets, rockets, helicopters and gliders).

It is precisely during the course of a test pilot who was chosen to become a member of the astronaut Corps.

Although he was part of the backup crew in many missions, its first flight was in 1966 aboard Gemini 8. During this exciting event, he and his partner David Scott carried out successfully the first docking of two spacecraft in space.

In July 1969, the decisive step: Armstrong was assigned command of Apollo 11, the first manned spacecraft to land on the Moon and, on July 20, 1969, together with his colleague Edwin Aldrin, the first living being which gives its footprint on the lunar surface.

Armstrong's company, which entailed a great preparation, as well as an enormous courage, is extraordinary because the conquest of the Moon is perhaps the greatest scientific enterprise of all time, the most striking result of the ingenuity of man.

Famous words of the Commander at the time of the historic feat when, in his excitement, coming down the ladder of the lunar module, Armstrong said: "that's one small step for a man, but one giant leap for mankind".

Once landed, Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin explored the Moon's surface for two and a half hours. Later, back at home with anxiously waiting by the media and authorities, celebrated as a hero, Armstrong received the Medal of freedom by President in recognition of his achievements and contributions to the space program.

Other awards include the Robert j. Collier Trophy in 1969, the Robert h. Goddard Memorial Trophy in 1970, and the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978.

Neil Armstrong left NASA in 1971 to teach aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati, where he remained until 1979. He was also part of the National Commission for space from 1985 to 1986. In 1986 he was Deputy Chairman of the Presidential Commission of inquiry that investigated the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

Neil Armstrong, married with two children, has long lived in Ohio and worked for AIL, Inc. company dedicated to the development of systems for the Defense Department.

Dies due to complications occurred after heart surgery at the age of 82 years, the August 25, 2012.

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