Neil Armstrong is famous for being the first man to walk on the Moon.
Neil Armstrong was born on August 5, 1930 in the state of Ohio. His love for flying started at a young age when his father took him to an air show. From then on his goal in life was to become a pilot. At the young age of 15, Neil earned his pilot's license.
While attending college, Neil was called up by the Navy to serve as a fighter pilot in the Korean War.
As a Navy fighter pilot, Neil learned to take off and land from aircraft carriers.
Armstrong flew several missions during the war. At one point his plane was hit by enemy fire, but he was able to eject and was safely rescued.
After graduating from college, Armstrong became a test pilot. He flew all sorts of experimental planes testing them out to see how well they flew. It was a dangerous job, but very exciting. He flew over 200 different types of aircraft during his career.
In 1962 Armstrong was selected for the NASA Astronaut Corps. He had to go through a series of harsh physical tests, but he passed and was soon part of the "new nine" group NASA astronauts.
The New Nine
Neil Armstrong was a member of a group of astronauts called the "New Nine."
Armstrong's first trip into outer space was aboard the Gemini 8. He was the command pilot of the space capsule and piloted the first successful docking of two vehicles in space.
The Gemini 8 mission was cut short, however, when the capsules began to roll.
On December 23, 1968 Neil was offered the command of the Apollo 11. This would be the first manned landing on the Moon. The crew included Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins.
This was an exciting time for the entire country. The United States was in a race with the Soviet Union to put the first man on the Moon. If the flight was successful, Armstrong would be that man.
Armstrong inside a simulator training for the Apollo 11 mission.
It took months of training and preparation.
Armstrong and the crew boarding the spacecraft and preparing for launch.
After months of practice and preparation, the Apollo 11 spacecraft launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 16, 1969. There was one scary moment in the flight where Armstrong had to take over manual control of the landing. Upon landing Armstrong said "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."
After landing, Armstrong was the first to leave the craft and walk on the Moon. The historic date was July 21, 1969. His famous words upon being the first man on the Moon were "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind".
Walking on Moon
Buzz Aldrin also walked on the Moon during this trip. They collected Moon rocks and were on the Moon for over 21 hours. While the lunar module, named the Eagle, was on the Moon, the third astronaut, Michael Collins, orbited the Moon in the command module.
Neil Armstong back inside the Eagle after walking on the Moon.
The three pilots arrived back on Earth on July 24th. They landed in the Pacific Ocean and returned heroes. The picture shows the three astronauts in quarantine talking to President Richard Nixon.
The crew was famous. Here they are being celebrated with a parade.
After the Apollo 11 flight, Neil held many positions with NASA. He also worked as a professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati.
Neil Armstrong died on August 25, 2012 at the age of 82.
The crew of the Apollo 11 meeting with President Obama.
Armstrong training for mission.
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