US astronaut Neil Armstrong dies, first man on Moon


Armstrong makes his "one small step"

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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.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 458.

    It's hard to imagine the bravery of a man being the first to set foot on another planet.

    Bless that man, he is a legend, one of the few people in history that made a marker in peoples lives. People of a certain age remember where they were when he said those words.

    I'm so pleased he lived so long. RIP.

  • rate this

    Comment number 457.

    I wasn't born at that time so I have a question for all the people that were.
    was there any conspiracies theories back then? I even think that all these people who is talking about the flag and that crap was born after, so please let it go. the man just passed away and yes he was a living legend so please if you have anything good to say please do, if not just go away

  • rate this

    Comment number 456.

    Wow! You cannot begin to comprehend what a great achievement Neil Armstrong and his crew were a central part of in 1969. This was the first human being on another planet a quarter of a million miles away. Nothing before and not a lot since. This was all achieved before the internet and the types of technologies we take for granted today. A hero for our world.

  • rate this

    Comment number 455.

    Good to see his earlier exploits in the BBC obit footage - bouncing an X15 rocket sled off the upper atmosphere, controlling a wildly spinning Gemini 8 in low earth orbit and ejecting from a malfunctioning flying bedstead 100ft over the desert, Apollo 11 nearly hit a boulder and ran out of fuel before it touched down. His small step was probably the safest thing he'd ever done. Thanks Neil.

  • rate this

    Comment number 454.

    My american father worked for Texas Instruments for many years in Houston as their Chief Engineer and worked on many aspects of life support for NASA, as you can immagine, the entire space programme was very topical. Neil Armstrong was one of the great names that broke into the realm of the unknown, he was inspirational and one of the first true great trekers - God Bless, safe journey home!

  • rate this

    Comment number 453.

    So sad. A great person who really did make history.

  • rate this

    Comment number 452.

    We could do with a few men of Armstrong's character today. His achievements would just not be possible in today's world. They attempted the nearly impossible, and succeeded , mainly because nobody told them it was impossible.

  • rate this

    Comment number 451.

    Add your comment...A hero for the ages indeed. No matter which nation puts men again on the moon, or other planets in our, or any other solar system, they will have Neil Armstrong and the other astronauts, engineers, and staff of the Mercury and Apollo programs to thank. America needs to get out of Afghanistan and reclaim the vision of leading space exploration.

  • rate this

    Comment number 450.

    412. Pizik
    >>>>383. Alan T
    >>>>And here I was thinking it was a documentary (joke).

    hmmm You might want to go back and read my post again, a bit more slowly this time.

    I'm guessing your post was removed because it was abusive, not because of the paranoid content it probably contained. There's lots of similar, equally risible, contributions in this thread - unfortunately.

  • rate this

    Comment number 449.

    My parents got me out of bed at the age of 6 to watch the moon landing, knowing that it was an historic event I should never forget. It forms one of my earliest clear memories - those grainy pictures from so far away! The name 'Neil Armstrong' represented a true hero in my young mind. A true hero whose name will live on.

  • rate this

    Comment number 448.

    Given his achievements, and the way he so meekly conducted himself; Commander Neil Armstrong was arguably the humblest person ever to have graced this planet. He would have been ever further humbled if he could read these oh-so-many heart felt tributes about him, from all corners of the globe and all walks of life.

    Neil- you have inspired not just a generation, but the entire human race.

  • rate this

    Comment number 447.

    I stayed up all night to watch those first pictures in 1969. Great pilot. I think his ashes should be sent to Mars. However, that might cause some confusion if Curiosity started analysing them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 446.

    To boldly go where no man has gone before.

  • rate this

    Comment number 445.

    Who of my generation didn't stay up that night to watch the landing. One of the all time heros of the human race. 40 years later I teach my planetary science class what real adventure is all about. Brave, inspirational, never to be repeated. Oh dear, I feel old.

  • rate this

    Comment number 444.

    I was 11 at the time and remember being woken at 2.30 in the morning by my father, and not being best pleased to watch the moonwalk. But it did not take long to realise I was actually watching history being made. An amazing acheivment. RIP Neil

  • rate this

    Comment number 443.

    He was a great hero of mine. I remember watching him walking on the Moon. May he rest in peace. His memories will be with us for ever and ever.

  • rate this

    Comment number 442.

    very sad news,... As I say He is a Hero...

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • rate this

    Comment number 441.

    Neil Armstrong and his fellow astronauts represent the pinnacle of human achievement, endeavour, bravery. At the other end of the spectrum we have the conspiracy theorists. Still, we do need ditch diggers as well as astronauts in the world. RIP

  • rate this

    Comment number 440.

    I have never felt so sad at the death of someone I never knew.
    Growing up in the sixties I was in awe of these astronauts.
    "The first man on the Moon" says it all.

    R.I.P my hero.

  • rate this

    Comment number 439.

    Imagine the days when kids wanted to be astronauts, now they all want to be on TOWIE or BB or be the next Kardashians or Jersey Shore

    Just goes to show that not all change is for the best


Page 29 of 51


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