One small step for man, a giant leap for mankind.

There aren’t many strings of words which are more well known than what was uttered by the first human being to set foot upon the Moon. Less than three weeks after NASA landed its fourth unmanned surface rover on Mars (Curiosity), NASA astronaut, test pilot, aerospace engineer, professor, pioneer and modern-day hero, Neil Armstrong, has passed away at the age of 82 years old. Armstrong had just had his birthday on August 5th, and underwent surgery on August 7th (a day after the Curiosity rover landing), to relieve blocked coronary arteries. He died, today, at a hospital in Columbus, Ohio, from complications following that surgery.

Armstrong began his career a Navy aviator in 1949. In 1955, he joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) where he was an engineer, test pilot, astronaut and administrator. NACA would eventually become National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). As a test pilot and aviator, Armstrong had flown over 200 various models of aircraft, jets, rockets, helicopters and gliders; including the F-100 Super SabreF-101 VoodooF-104A StarfighterBell X-1Bell X-5F-105 ThunderchiefF-106 Delta Dart, and the well known, 4000-mph X-15.

Armstrong became an official astronaut in 1962. Several years later, he was designated as the command pilot for the Gemini 8 mission, which was launched on March 16, 1966. The commanding astronaut performed the first successful docking of two vehicles in space during that mission. As the commander of Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing mission, Armstrong was the first person to successfully land a craft on the surface of the moon and take its first steps on the natural satellite.

After the Apollo 11 mission, Neil Armstrong was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Richard Nixon along with Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. In 1978, he was awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor by President Jimmy Carter. The Apollo 11 crew and John Glenn were presented the Congressional Gold Medal in 2009; accepting the medals from Speaker of the House John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

Simply put, Neil Armstrong, was a giant among men. Few people have been a part of such a benchmark in history or have contributed, to this extent, in the advancement of aviation technology and space exploration. He is gone but has made an indelible mark and carved out a giant place in the chronicle of mankind.

Neil Armstrong was a monumental cultural figure, may the American legend Rest in Peace.



NASA Administrator Charles Bolden:

On behalf of the entire NASA family, I would like to express my deepest condolences to Carol and the rest of Armstrong family on the passing of Neil Armstrong. As long as there are history books, Neil Armstrong will be included in them, remembered for taking humankind’s first small step on a world beyond our own.

Besides being one of America’s greatest explorers, Neil carried himself with a grace and humility that was an example to us all. When President Kennedy challenged the nation to send a human to the moon, Neil Armstrong accepted without reservation.

As we enter this next era of space exploration, we do so standing on the shoulders of Neil Armstrong. We mourn the passing of a friend, fellow astronaut and true American hero.


President Barack Obama via Politico:

Neil was among the greatest of American heroes – not just of his time, but of all time. When he and his fellow crew members lifted off aboard Apollo 11 in 1969, they carried with them the aspirations of an entire nation. They set out to show the world that the American spirit can see beyond what seems unimaginable – that with enough drive and ingenuity, anything is possible. And when Neil stepped foot on the surface of the moon for the first time, he delivered a moment of human achievement that will never be forgotten. Today, Neil’s spirit of discovery lives on in all the men and women who have devoted their lives to exploring the unknown – including those who are ensuring that we reach higher and go further in space. That legacy will endure – sparked by a man who taught us the enormous power of one small step.


Neil deGrasse Tyson via Facebook:

Neil Armstrong (1930-2012) was not entirely human. He was the spiritual repository of our spacefaring dreams & ambitions. In death, a little bit of us all dies with him. Farewell my friend. And now, perhaps more than ever, I bid you godspeed.


From the Family:

We are heartbroken to share the news that Neil Armstrong has passed away following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures.

Neil was our loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend.

Neil Armstrong was also a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job. He served his Nation proudly, as a navy fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut. He also found success back home in his native Ohio in business and academia, and became a community leader in Cincinnati.

He remained an advocate of aviation and exploration throughout his life and never lost his boyhood wonder of these pursuits.

As much as Neil cherished his privacy, he always appreciated the expressions of good will from people around the world and from all walks of life.

While we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves.

For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.







A portrait of Armstrong taken November 20, 1956, while he was a test pilot at the NACA High-Speed Flight Station at Edwards Air Force Base, California

Neil Armstrong at NASA

Aldrin took this picture of a teary-eyed Armstrong in the cabin after the completion of the EVA (Extravehicular Activity)

Neil Armstrong in Gemini G-2C training suit

Armstrong stands next to the X-15 ship No. 1 after a research flight

Astronaut Neil Armstrong on a one-day Gemini VIII mission in March of 1966.

The Apollo 11 crew portrait. Left to right are Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin

The Apollo 11 crew in quarantine with President Richard Nixon

Neil Armstrong took this picture of Edwin Aldrin on 20 July 1969, which shows a reflection in Aldrin’s visor of Armstrong and the Lunar Module

Neil Armstrong 1930-2012 Thread