Be it in any part of the world, the name of Neil Armstrong needs no introduction, having been the first human to set foot and walk on the moon. This feat, way back in 1969, had made him a household name, which is preserved till date. His words as he stepped on the moon, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” is equally popular and is considered as one of the best known quotes in English.
Here are some other facts about him, which everybody may not be aware of:
- His full name is Neil Alden Armstrong.
- Ohio is his place of birth and death.
- He had a fascination with flight at an early age and earned his student pilot’s license when he was mere 16.
- Other than an astronaut, he was also a test pilot, naval aviator, aero-space engineer and university professor.
- While in the US Navy, he had served in the Korean War in 1949.
- He flew around 80 combat missions during the Korean War.
- Post Korean War, he became a test pilot and joined NASA’s (at the time known as NACA- National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) astronaut program in 1962.
- While at NASA, he tested many high-speed aircraft, including the X-15 with a top speed of 4,000 miles per hour).
- In 1966, he served as the command pilot for his first mission, Gemini VIII.
- The Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969 was his second and last spaceflight, where he served as the mission’s commander.
- He spent around two and a half hours on the moon, collecting samples, conducting experiments and taking photographs.
- On their return to Earth, Neil and the 2 other astronauts were put into quarantine for three weeks.
- Armstrong remained with NASA until 1971.
- After leaving NASA, he joined the faculty of the University of Cincinnati as a professor of aerospace engineering and worked there for 8 years.
- He married twice and has 2 sons from his first marriage.
- He also had a daughter from his first marriage, who however died of brain tumor only when she was 3.
- He suffered a mild heart attack in 1991 while skiing with friends at Aspen, Colorado.
Neil Armstrong died at the age of 82 on August 25, 2012 owing to blocked coronary arteries, weeks after undergoing a heart bypass operation.