First man to walk on the moon Neil Armstrong passes away

26 Aug 2012

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Pictured: An American hero - Neil Armstrong

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The first man to set foot on the moon Neil Armstrong passed away yesterday at the age of 82. On 21 July 1969 Armstrong put his left foot on the moon’s surface as he stepped out of Eagle, marking one of the most iconic and inspirational moments of the 20th century.

The achievement also fulfilled US President John F Kennedy’s promise to the American people that they would see a man walk on the moon by the end of the 1960s. The moment was broadcast live to 600m people around the world.

Armstrong uttered: “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Armstrong passed away yesterday at 82 years in Cincinnati, Ohio, due to complications following blocked arteries.

Armstrong’s first NASA mission was the Gemini 8 mission in 1966 where he performed the first manned docking of two spacecraft with pilot David Scott.

Aftter landing on the moon in 1969 Armstrong spent two and a half hours exploring the moon’s surface.

He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from US President Richard Nixon along with Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin.

Commenting on the passing of the publicity-shy astronaut, US President Barack Obama said: “Neil was among the greatest of American heroes – not just of his time, but of all time. 

“When he and his fellow crew members lifted off aboard Apollo 11 in 1969, they carried with them the aspirations of an entire nation.  They set out to show the world that the American spirit can see beyond what seems unimaginable – that with enough drive and ingenuity, anything is possible. And when Neil stepped foot on the surface of the moon for the first time, he delivered a moment of human achievement that will never be forgotten. 

“Today, Neil’s spirit of discovery lives on in all the men and women who have devoted their lives to exploring the unknown – including those who are ensuring that we reach higher and go further in space. That legacy will endure – sparked by a man who taught us the enormous power of one small step,” President Obama said.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com