Neil Armstrong, First Man on the Moon, Dies at 82

by Jason Major on August 25, 2012

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Former NASA astronaut Neil A. Armstrong was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio, on August 5, 1930

Today we mourn the loss of a true hero and icon of a generation, if not an entire century: Neil Alden Armstrong, former NASA astronaut and first person to set foot on the Moon, has passed away due to complications from cardiovascular surgery. Armstrong had recently turned 82 years old on August 5.

His family has issued the following statement:

We are heartbroken to share the news that Neil Armstrong has passed away following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures.

Neil was our loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend.

Neil Armstrong was also a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job. He served his Nation proudly, as a navy fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut. He also found success back home in his native Ohio in business and academia, and became a community leader in Cincinnati.

He remained an advocate of aviation and exploration throughout his life and never lost his boyhood wonder of these pursuits.

As much as Neil cherished his privacy, he always appreciated the expressions of good will from people around the world and from all walks of life.

While we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves.

For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.

His death was reported at 2:45 p.m. ET.

Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, and he radioed back to Earth the historic news: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

In a statement issued by the White House, U.S. President Barack Obama said “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.”

Neil Armstrong, along with fellow astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins and John Glenn, were honored with the Congressional Gold Medal on November 16, 2011.

Godspeed, Mr. Armstrong. You were — and will always be — a true inspiration to so many. You’ll be missed.

“In my own view, the important achievement of Apollo was a demonstration that humanity is not forever chained to this planet, and our visions go rather further than that, and our opportunities are unlimited.”

— Neil A. Armstrong

Top image: NASA. Inset images: Armstrong leads the crew from the Manned Spacecraft Operations Building to the transfer van on July 16, 1969 and a portrait of Armstrong taken inside the LM after the first lunar EVA. Via the Project Apollo Archive.

About 

A graphic designer in Rhode Island, Jason writes about space exploration on his blog Lights In The Dark, Discovery News, and, of course, here on Universe Today. Ad astra!

???????? ???????????? August 25, 2012 at 8:17 PM

I’m utterly shocked and in tears reading this!
Neil Armstrong went to explore new realms.
A star, on the way to the stars…
R.I.P. Neil…

kkt August 25, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Thank you, Mr. Armstrong, for being a great symbol of the space program, of our country, and of humankind. You are missed.

Kevin Frushour August 25, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Godspeed, Neil. Your small step today brings a giant amount of loss. Godspeed.

Kevin Frushour August 25, 2012 at 11:52 PM

Here, took this in the backyard today. It’s from my phone, but it’s the moon on the day Neil died.

zkank August 25, 2012 at 9:00 PM

True, brave hero!

Pat Keeney August 25, 2012 at 9:34 PM

An inspirational, understated hero passes. RIP Neil armstrong, and thank you! http://edcrossroads.blogspot.com/2012/08/a-hero-of-science-far-outside-classroom.html

lcrowell August 25, 2012 at 9:46 PM

We seem to be nearing the time when all of those who walked on the moon will be dead.
LC

Gina Rossillini August 25, 2012 at 10:05 PM

I don’t care what people say , Someday Mr Armstrong we will see you in Heaven..

Tranquility Base August 25, 2012 at 10:28 PM

“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” – Neil Armstrong.

R.I.P. http://tranquilitybaseblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/rip-neil.html

Brian Backlash August 25, 2012 at 11:02 PM

Rest in peace, Mr. Armstrong.

Deepsky_hunter August 26, 2012 at 1:59 AM

A true explorer and a great man.I will miss him.

Aqua4U August 26, 2012 at 2:06 AM

RIP… After all you did for us, I just wish you’d been around long enough to see mankind return to the moon. We eventually will, and at that time, however far in the future that is, we’ll be thinking of you!

John Goverts August 26, 2012 at 4:17 PM

He went where no man had gone before… I remember we were on holiday in July 1969. We all crowded together in the central lobby of our bungalow park in the middle of the night. Blurry figures on a small black-and-white TV screen. One of the few images that will stay with me for as long as I live. Rest in peace, Mr. Armstrong…

henk August 26, 2012 at 5:10 PM

R.I.P you will be missed

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