The Passing of Neil Armstrong

by Ryan on August 26, 2012

in Anything Else,Culture,History,Pop Culture,science

Yesterday, Neil Armstrong died at the age of 82 from complications due to a heart procedure.  Hardly a person on Earth needs to ask who he was or what he did.  When you’re the first person to set foot on another world, there are few who could ever possibly match that feat — only eleven others have since even been on the Moon, the last one in 1972.

The former commander of the Apollo XI mission to the Moon, who stepped foot there on July 20, 1969, chose to live a quiet life in subsequent years.  His counterpart on that mission, Buzz Aldrin, was never shy from giving interviews.  Neither was the oft forgotten Michael Collins who manned the lunar orbiter.  But, Armstrong chose to fade from the spotlight, giving only sparse interviews and making rare public appearances.  After leaving NASA, he decided to teach aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati, then bought a farm to raise cattle and corn in his retirement.

In the scope of human history, Armstrong is one of the few who will stand out a millennium from now as a person from our age who achieved a remarkable feat.  Think about it — your cell phone has substantially more sophisticated parts and technology than that clunky lunar module did.  Yet, Armstrong and crew braved six days space travel for a three hour walk on a foreign planetary body only to come back home facing the same perils, finally trying to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere without burning up so they could try to splash down safely in the Pacific Ocean.  Damn.  That takes the kind of guts few people have.

Armstrong’s family released a simple, but fitting statement yesterday:

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.

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Previous post:

Next post: