NASA’s Moonwalkers — Neil Armstrong
Neil Armstrong is one of the most famous astronauts of all time, and with good reason. As the first man to step foot on the Moon, he captured the imagination of the world and became one of the greatest American heroes!
Head over to Moon’s globe where you can check out Tranquility Base, the landing site of Armstrong’s Apollo 11 mission. You might even discover a spot to begin your own journey through our space-age simulation!
Armstrong became fascinated with flight at an early age. Impressively, at age 16 he earned his student pilots license before he could even drive a car!
Never one to shy away from danger, Armstrong’s interest in flight led him to join the U.S. Navy as a pilot. He saw plenty of action during the Korean War, participating in 78 combat missions across 121 hours of flight time.
After leaving the Navy, Armstrong joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, now known as NASA. He served as a test pilot and engineer for a crew specializing in testing experimental jets. Whilst piloting the X-15 rocket-powered aircraft he reached speeds of 3,989mph!
Armstrong joined NASA’s Astronaut Corps in 1962. After participating in several successful Gemini missions and becoming the first man to successfully dock two vehicles in space, he received a pay rise. Now earning $21,653 a year, Armstrong was NASA’s highest-paid Astronaut!
After being officially assigned to the Apollo 11 crew, Armstrong entered rigorous training for his greatest challenge yet. However, his preparations brought him dangerously close to death! During a test module landing, Armstrong’s controls failed and he lost control of his vehicle. He quickly ejected before disaster could strike and watched on as the module burst into flames below him.
Fast forward to July 21th, 1969 — Armstrong and his colleague Buzz Aldrin were set to become the first men to land on the Moon. As Commander, Armstrong would have the honor of being the first to set foot on the lunar surface. After a successful landing, Armstrong and Aldrin prepared for their big moment.
With 530 million viewers watching on, Armstrong descended the ladder and firmly planted his boot onto the surface before uttering the immortal words, “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Interestingly, Armstrong doesn’t appear in most images of the moonwalk. The mission had been planned down to the minute, with the majority of the photography assigned to Armstrong himself.
Despite this, he is firmly cemented in his position as one of the greatest American heroes of all time.