Neil Alden Armstrong (born August 5, 1930) is an American former astronaut, test pilot, aerospace engineer, university professor, United States Naval Aviator, and the first person to set foot upon the Moon. Before becoming an astronaut, Armstrong was in the United States Navy and served in the Korean War.
After serving as a naval aviator from 1949 to 1952, Armstrong joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) in 1955. His first assignment was with the NACA Lewis Research Center (now NASA Glenn) in Cleveland. Over the next 17 years, he was an engineer, test pilot, astronaut and administrator for NACA and its successor agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Armstrong revealed how he thought his mission, Apollo 11, only had a 50% chance of landing safely on the moon's surface and said it was "sad" that the current US government's ambitions for Nasa were so reduced compared with the achievements of the 1960s.
Neil Armstrong One Small Step
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Armstrong and Aldrin spent nearly two and a half hours walking on the moon - collecting samples, conducting experiments, and taking photographs. On. July 24 the three men splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, arriving to a hero’s welcome.
The exciting part for me, as a pilot, was the landing on the moon. That was the time that we had achieved the national goal of putting Americans on the moon. The landing approach was, by far, the most difficult and challenging part of the flight.
Armstrong, a 38-year-old civilian research pilot, was the commander of the mission. After traveling 240,000 miles in 76 hours, Apollo 11 entered into a lunar orbit on July 19. The next day, at 1:46 p.m., the lunar module Eagle, manned by Armstrong and Aldrin, separated from the command module, where Collins remained.
together they took photographs of the terrain, planted a U.S. flag, ran a few simple scientific tests, and spoke with President Richard M. Nixon via Houston.
"We recognized that we wouldn't have been there if it hadn't been for our competitors in the Soviet Union -- it was a competition that made both of our programs able to do what we achieved. We put medallions for our fallen colleagues on both sides, and that was a tender moment."
"The computer showed us where it intended to land, and it was a very bad location, on the side of a large crater about 100-150m in diameter with very steep slopes covered with very large boulders -- not a good place to land at all," he said.
Armstrong took over the craft manually and managed to land it like a helicopter in a smoother area to the west with just 20 seconds of fuel left.
‘I thought we had a 90 percent chance of getting back safely to Earth on that flight but only a 50-50 chance of making a landing
On July 16, 1969, Armstrong, this time as commander of Apollo 11. along with command module pilot and navigator Michael Collins and systems expert Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, began a historic journey to the moon. Armstrong piloted the lunar module to a safe landing on the moon's surface.
But even more incredible was the controversy that swirled through her small-town diner and places like it across the country. After a long absence, the "Moon Hoax" was back.
He and his family moved to Houston, Texas, and Armstrong served as the command pilot for his first mission, Gemini VIII. He and fellow astronaut David Scott were launched into the earth's orbit on March 16, 1966.
His studies, however, were interrupted in 1949 when he was called to serve in the Korean War. A U.S. Navy pilot, Armstrong flew 78 combat missions during this military conflict. He left the service in 1952, and returned to college.
The first steps by humans on another planetary body were taken by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on July 20, 1969.