Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Neil Armstrong

Astronaut Profile
Selection Date:1962
Retirement Date:1969
Time in Space:8/14:10
Gemini 8, Apollo 11
Neil Alden Armstrong (born August 5, 1930) is an American test pilot, astronaut, and the first person to walk on the Moon.

Armstrong was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio and served in the Korean War as a jet fighter pilot. He attended Purdue University, where he was a member of a fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1955. Armstrong then became a civilian test pilot for NASA and piloted the 4,000 mi/h (6,400 km/h) X-15 rocket plane. Armstrong was selected by NASA as an astronaut in 1962.

He commanded Gemini 8, which achieved the first docking of two orbiting spacecraft, in 1966. He served as commander of the backup crew for the Apollo 8 lunar orbital mission in 1968.

In 1969, Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission.

He narrowly escaped death during training in a crash of the lunar landing training vehicle (LLTV). During the actual mission, he took manual control of the Lunar Module (LM) Eagle and piloted it away from a rocky area to a safe landing. His first words from the Moon were, "Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed." Several hours later he climbed out of the LM and became the first person to walk on the Moon, and the first man to flub a scripted line on the moon, with the words,

"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." (He had intended to say "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.")
(hear original audio [1] - .wav 260 kb)

After retirement from NASA he taught engineering at the University of Cincinnati. He served on the Presidential commission which investigated the Challenger accident.

See also explorers.

External links