It has been said that ten thousand years from now, only one name will still be remembered — that of Neil Armstrong.
A quiet, private man, at heart an engineer and crack test pilot, Mr. Armstrong made history on July 20, 1969, as the commander of the Apollo 11 spacecraft on the mission that culminated the Soviet-American space race in the 1960s.
On that day, Mr. Armstrong and his co-pilot, Col. Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., known as Buzz, steered their lunar landing craft, Eagle, to a level, rock-strewn plain near the southwestern shore of the Sea of Tranquillity. It was touch and go the last minute or two, with computer alarms sounding and fuel running low. But they made it.
Watch below the video of the very first moon landing of the apollo 11 mission in 1969! Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon with his now legenday words “One small step for man, a giant leap for mankind.” This is a truly amazing video.
In the BBC documentary below, Andrew Smith, author of the best-selling book Moondust, journeys across America to try and discover the real Neil Armstrong. He tracks down the people who knew Armstrong, from his closest childhood friend to fellow astronauts and Houston technicians, and even the barber who sold his hair, in a wry and sideways look at the reluctant hero of the greatest event of the twentieth century.
Today, the world lost a great one. Neil Armstrong has died at 82, after undergoing heart-bypass surgery earlier this month. Neil Armstrong’s death should be a wake-up call for the world.
Nobody born after 1935 has walked on the moon. Nobody since the nineteen thirties. The children of eight decades since have still not made it back there, or reached further to touch the red dust of Mars.
Neil Armstrong’s death means that the first man on the Moon will never meet the first man on Mars. It is a chilling reminder that we are unlikely to reach another planet in the lifetimes of any of the surviving Apollo astronauts. It may not happen in my parents’ lifetimes. I’m beginning to lose faith that it will even happen in my lifetime. How have we allowed this to happen?