Neil Armstrong, one of the most famous people who ever lived, passed away on Saturday at the age of 82.
He became famous on July 20, 1969, when he became the first human to set foot on the moon. To the world he was a hero, but to him it was all in a day’s work, family members said.
“Neil was our loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend. Neil Armstrong was also a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job,” the Armstrong family said in a statement Saturday.
43 years ago, Neil Armstrong uttered one of the 20th century’s most famous line: “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Apollo 11 was Armstrong’s last trip to space. He left NASA in 1971 and became a professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati.
Armstrong returned to the public spotlight in 2010 when he voiced strong objections to the decision to cancel NASA’s moon-oriented Constellation program. He also stated his concerns about the NASA’s plan to rely on private sector spaceships after the space shuttle’s retirement.
“We will have no American access to, and return from, low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station for an unpredictable length of time in the future.”
“For a country that has invested so much for so long to achieve a leadership position in space exploration and exploitation, this condition is viewed by many as lamentably embarrassing and unacceptable.”
Neil Armstrong wasn’t just a hero for America, he set the standard for space pioneers the world over. There can only be one first for everything, and his first step will last forever. Rest in peace Neil Armstrong.
– Ex astris, scientia –