Saturday, August 25, 2012

Godspeed, Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, passed away earlier today at the age of 82. He had undergone heart surgery Aug. 8, three days after his 82nd birthday.

Armstrong commanded the most famous Apollo 11 mission, which landed men on the moon on July 20, 1969, and safely returned them to Earth for the first time, fulfilling the promise made by President John F. Kennedy. It was later revealed by NASA that the lunar landing module only had 20 seconds of fuel left when Commander Armstrong piloted it to a landing avoiding numerous large boulders in the Sea of Tranquility.

As he stepped off the lander and onto the moon's surface for the first time, he uttered some of the most famous words in history, "that's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." He later explained that the somewhat awkward-sounding (at first) wording was indeed a mistake, he had intended to say "for a man" instead of "for man," but attempts to 'edit it' in our minds by media failed, leaving us a most-precious quote, made more so by its 'humaness.'

The entire world was brought together that night, many like myself, at age 14, sitting in silent awe, adjusting our tin-foil-laden rabbit-ear antennas on black & white TVs in the middle of the night to see what we felt to be the most important single moment in history in our lives.

To borrow from John Glenn's history a bit, "Godspeed, Commander Armstrong, Godspeed"

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