US astronaut Neil Armstrong dies, first man on Moon


Armstrong makes his "one small step"

Related Stories

US astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon, has died aged 82.

A statement from his family says he died from complications from heart surgery he had earlier this month.

He set foot on the Moon on 20 July 1969, famously describing the event as "one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind".

US President Barack Obama said Armstrong was "among the greatest of American heroes - not just of his time, but of all time".

Last November he received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest US civilian award.

Neil Armstrong sits inside the Lunar Module while it rests on the surface of the Moon, 20 July 1969

He was the commander of the Apollo 11 spacecraft. More than 500 million TV viewers around the world watched its touchdown on the lunar surface.

Armstrong and fellow astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin spent nearly three hours walking on the moon, collecting samples, conducting experiments and taking photographs.

"The sights were simply magnificent, beyond any visual experience that I had ever been exposed to," Armstrong once said.

'Reluctant hero'

Mr Aldrin told the BBC's Newshour programme: "It's very sad indeed that we're not able to be together as a crew on the 50th anniversary of the mission… [I will remember him] as a very capable commander."

Apollo 11 was Armstrong's last space mission. In 1971, he left the US space agency Nasa to teach aerospace engineering.

Born in 1930 and raised in Ohio, Armstrong took his first flight aged six with his father and formed a lifelong passion for flying.

He flew Navy fighter jets during the Korean War in the 1950s, and joined the US space programme in 1962.

President Obama described him as "one of the greatest American heroes of all time"

Correspondents say Armstrong remained modest and never allowed himself to be caught up in the glamour of space exploration.

"I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer," he said in February 2000, in a rare public appearance.

In a statement, his family praised him as a "reluctant American hero" who had "served his nation proudly, as a navy fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut".

The statement did not say where Armstrong died.

He had surgery to relieve four blocked coronary arteries on 7 August.


More on This Story

Related Stories


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 438.

    My father took to Jodrell Bank to see John Glenn explain the Saturn V mission details just before Apollo 7 launched. Then at 11 I watched the moon landing with my father. A truly historic and magical moment. I hope my children have a chance to experience such thing in the future.

    Goodbye Neil.

  • rate this

    Comment number 437.

    402 kc_cheifs

    You don't know physics at all, the intensity is an exponentially decaying function i doesnt mean it will get stopped completely, alpha radiation will be stopped but, Beta and gamma radiation won't be stopped by very thin aluminium, In a plane you get more X-rays at 39,000 feet and plane have thicker walls that the moon craft.

  • rate this

    Comment number 436.

    Forgot to thank Neil for something in my previous post......Thanks, Neil. For giving me (and many others) a massive inferiority complex:)

  • rate this

    Comment number 435.

    We need people like Mr Armstrong to remind us of what we can achieve, and that we aren't all as pathetic as the 'didn't land on the moon bunch'. To quote Alan Davies "If we judged everything by what we personally could do, I think the world would be in a pretty bad state".

  • rate this

    Comment number 434.

    To all the hoax nutjobs:

    Argument from personal incredulity is not a valid form of debate.

    Physics and aeronautics is NOT part of your burger flipping or selling insurance job - so why pretend you have any relevancy arguing such disciplines.

  • rate this

    Comment number 433.

    His footsteps will remain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 432.

    This Guy was my Dan Dare,what a shame,such a brave and nice Guy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 431.

    Rest In Peace Neil. Your place in human history will always remain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 430.


  • rate this

    Comment number 429.

    R.I.P. Neil Armstrong.

    This is real news. And so sad. Shame that on the same day, the BBC reports on Chris Moyles' incident. How is that news?

  • rate this

    Comment number 428.

    The feeling of tension is still with me now as a 55 year old, I remembere sitting with my Mum watching the takeoff. Watching the craft re-enter the earth's atmosphere willing them to to return to our Earth safely, and to be sane. Thank you for making such lasting memories in my life. May you rest in peace and know that you had such a profund effect on so many people. XXX

  • rate this

    Comment number 427.

    I was 19 & that night has been etched in my mind,my Brother & I stayed up all the night ,Neil Armstrong was a First & like all people who are First he will always be in the History books for children to read about that mission. Armstrong,Aldrin & Collins were men who shaped our view of what mankind can do, there has never been a day like that one.he has now taken last giant leap as a man.

  • rate this

    Comment number 426.

    This is really sad news. Neil Armstrong was an ordinary man who did something extraordinary, using technology that was primitive compared to what we have now.

    Thought for the day: Armstrong and Aldrin left a plaque on the moon saying "we came in peace for all mankind". Is the world more peaceful now than it was in 1969?

  • rate this

    Comment number 425.

    I was 14 and they landed on the moon on my birthday. I always thought what a truly great man Neil Armstrong was; dignified, humble and someone to look up too.
    Thank you Neil for being one of my heroes and a true inspiration to so many people; more than you probably knew

  • rate this

    Comment number 424.

    Neil Armstrong was a very exceptional man. He was chosen to be the lead astronaut in the first landing because of his outstanding ability as a pilot and his self control under extreme pressure and a fine education.
    Indeed it paid off. Very few could have done what he did when Eagle hit problems with the on-board computer prior to that historic landing. The world remains in his debt.

  • rate this

    Comment number 423.

    One of the greatest men on earth (and beyond).
    Blue Skies and Rest in peace.

  • rate this

    Comment number 422.

    Neil Armstrong was a premier member of the "Can do" club - that elite group of people of all ages who choose a goal and just work and work at it without fuss or glory until they get there. Neil was part of a team of such people who made the Moon landing happen. If only more of us were like that, humanity's progress would be meteoric. Neil Armstrong, rest in peace. Well done.

  • rate this

    Comment number 421.

    So sad to read this news. He was a great hero of my childhood: I followed all the Apollo missions and it was all so inspiring and wonderful. He really did slip the surly bonds of earth -

    RIP Neil Armstrong

  • rate this

    Comment number 420.

    I see my comment, which questioned whether Armstrong ever went to the moon has been 'removed because it broke the house rules' from this BBC website. Really? What is thye BBCafraid of? The truth coming out? Woe betide anyone should challenge the received myth.

  • rate this

    Comment number 419.

    Really blessed life! Condolences !


Page 30 of 51


More US & Canada stories



  • Witley Court in Worcestershire Abandoned mansions

    What happened to England's lost stately homes?

  • Tray of beer being carried10 Things

    Beer is less likely to slosh than coffee, and other nuggets

  • Spoon and buckwheatSoul food

    The grain that tells you a lot about Russia's state of mind

  • Woman readingWeekendish

    The best reads you need to catch up on

  • Salim Rashid SuriThe Singing Sailor

    The young Omani who became a prewar fusion music hit

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.