Reactions to the Death of Neil Armstrong

We now have generations of people who have grown up with the knowledge that humans have walked on the Moon. Neil Armstrong, the man who took that first small step on another world passed away today after complications from heart surgery. It’s a tremendous loss for everyone involved with or interested in space exploration, and messages of condolences and remembrances are pouring in.

We’ll post many here, and feel free to add your thoughts or remembrances of Neil Armstrong in the comments section.

Neil Armstrong’s crew mate and fellow Moonwalker on Apollo 11, Buzz Aldrin posted this on Twitter:

“On behalf of the Aldrin family we extend our deepest condolences to Carol & the entire Armstrong family on Neil’s passing-He will be missed. Neil & I trained together but were also good friends who will always be connected thru our participation in the Apollo 11 mission I know I am joined by millions of others in mourning Neil’s passing – a true American hero and the best pilot I ever knew.”

From NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden:

“On behalf of the entire NASA family, I would like to express my deepest condolences to Carol and the rest of Armstrong family on the passing of Neil Armstrong. As long as there are history books, Neil Armstrong will be included in them, remembered for taking humankind’s first small step on a world beyond our own.

“Besides being one of America’s greatest explorers, Neil carried himself with a grace and humility that was an example to us all. When President Kennedy challenged the nation to send a human to the moon, Neil Armstrong accepted without reservation.

“As we enter this next era of space exploration, we do so standing on the shoulders of Neil Armstrong. We mourn the passing of a friend, fellow astronaut and true American hero.”

Astronaut Mae Jemison via Twitter:

“As young girl watching #NeilArmstrong step on the Moon, the stars came a little bit closer, and my world and expectations quite a bit larger.”

Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin examine film taken of their mission. Credit: NASA

NASA Kennedy Space Center Director Robert Cabana:

“Neil Armstrong was a true American hero, and one of the nicest gentlemen around. He was the epitome of what an engineering test pilot should be, and a role model for everyone who aspired to be an astronaut. He always took the time to share his thoughts on technical issues and his experiences from the past. I feel very privileged to have known him. He will be missed.”

President Barack Obama said he was deeply saddened, and hailed Armstrong as one of the nation’s greatest ever heroes, for having inspired a generation to reach for the stars.

“When he and his fellow crew members lifted off aboard Apollo 11 in 1969, they carried with them the aspirations of an entire nation,” Obama said in a statement. “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.”

Republican challenger for the White House, Mitt Romney, said Armstrong now “takes his place in the hall of heroes. With courage unmeasured and unbounded love for his country, he walked where man had never walked before,” Romney said. “The moon will miss its first son of Earth.”

Lon Rains, Chairman, Coalition for Space Exploration:

“Today we mourn the loss of Neil Armstrong, a true hero for all mankind. Neil was a humble man who devoted his life and his career to serving a greater cause. From the children who strive to explore the stars to those who devote their lives to reaching beyond the bonds of earth, one can only hope to follow in his footsteps. We are deeply saddened by the loss of this great man. We will forever celebrate his life, his accomplishments and his spirit.”

NASA has more information about Neil Armstrong on their homepage,

as well as this website:

21 Replies to “Reactions to the Death of Neil Armstrong”

  1. Neil took the last step in what he described as a relay race in which he was just the last leg. He was a great man and even greater example of all that is good in mankind. Now it’s up to us to take that next giant leap, and whoever it may be that does take that next giant leap for mankind will have some pretty big shoes to fill. RIP Neil!

  2. As one of the millions who on July 20, 1969, sat glued to the TV to watch Neil and Buzz walk on the moon, I say thank you Neil for the everlasting memory…………….RIP

  3. So many kings, emperors, dictators and rulers wanted a lasting legacy which human history would always remember. None of them can beat Armstrong’s legacy.
    First Man On The Moon. Imagine that.

  4. A memorable individual with a memorable and productive life. Random fortune placed him in the place as the first to reach the Moon, as he was a greatly humble man with no real desire for the limelight. We should forget the patriotic fervour and needless ramblings and worship of the maddening vox populi — as it takes away from the essence of his character, His contribution as an American was made with dignity and grace, which is a lesson to your whole society needs to grasp. I for one respect him more for the way he conducted himself above the achievement of being the first man on the moon.

    1. This is not the time nor place for America bashing. I wonder what Neil would say about your continuing slander? Show some respect. And your comment, “Random(?) fortune placed him in the place (?) as the first to reach the Moon…” is practically an insult if you were to think of all the accomplishments in his career.

      1. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said on Armstrong’s passing;

        “Besides being one of America’s greatest explorers, Neil carried himself with a grace and humility that was an example to us all.”

        [ See: ]

        That precisely and independently what I said, isn’t it?

        Also, as his family said, as and example to “young people” ; “…to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves.” and to “Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty,”

        A completely obvious virtuous principle to admire and launder I’d have thought!

        Enough said.

    2. Eh? America bashing? Slander? The point should be well taken about the need for humility, and this is especially importantly regarding the overall opportunistic and vulture-like media. I’d have thought that was a given.

      I’d have thought what I’ve said here would reflect very positively on the sad passing of Neil Armstrong — much of which almost exactly others have already said elsewhere. I.e. NBC even used the word ‘limelight’ even after I said it.

      I think you are reading to far much in things that are simply not there.

    1. It’s an html page, idiot. Everything on it is static. every number, every letter. They probabily took an old landing page and quickly and carelessly inserted the photo. I’m a software developer and these things happen all the time. Idiot!

  5. Like many others, what happened in July 1969 left a huge impression and had a profound impact on the rest of my life. RIP Neil Armstrong and thank you.

  6. He was an American who achieved something truly great, and will forever be remembered for it, the world over – an inspiration to billions. And he was modest. It’s almost a contradiction in terms. The world has lost a true legend. RIP. 🙁

  7. The first time I stayed up late (in Britain) with my father was to watch the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon. A watershed in human history. My condolences to Neil Armstrong’s family, friends, and colleagues, and to NASA. A great man. I can’t find a place on NASA’s site to send a message.

  8. Born in 1964, one of the first memories I had was watching the moon landings and the spashdowns of the Apollo missions. Neil Armstrong was the first, true, real life hero I had. He had the class and dignity of a gentleman, the poise and demeanor of a surgeon and the cool head of a engineer.
    He epitomised everything a boy could want to be.
    Thanks Neil, from a world, a nation, and simply from a kid who saw you for what you were — a simple man, giving his all to do extraordinary things.

  9. Love the top photo of Mr. Armstrong in the LM wearing the “snoopy hat.” He looks so tired, so sleepy,and so excited— like a little kid who just walked on the moon. er… Wait a minute… he did! In every other picture, Mr. Armstrong looks Sooooo serious.

    I’m glad to see the story led with that photo. That’s how I will always picture him. RIP.

    1. I agree, there is no denying the look of exhausted and exhilarated joy on his face in that picture. Generations of kids have, and will continue, to reach for that kind of moment because he, and the rest of NASA, taught us the only limits are those that we set ourselves.

  10. An exceptional man, whose life achievement is spectacularly symbolized by a footprint on Earth’s Moon. But as he himself pointed out, many thousands ( faceless and nameless ), stood and worked behind the curtains, in support, to help accomplish the heroic feat of Apollo 11’s momentous lunar landing. Those who helped inspire the fulfillment, and worked to create the means, to achieve the ambitious, visionary Apollo Program, with the will to accomplish its goal, regardless of set-backs and tragedies through years. They who set its trajectory to an epic lunar descent, and worked towards a safe, successful ocean splashdown, in joyous completion.

    That great leap for mankind was also a footprint of awesome accomplishment, made possible by ALL those off stage, behind the scenes, without whose dedication, determination, commitment, and contribution, the off-world drama would never have ignited to lift-off the ground. The mighty Saturn V would never have come to majestically stand in the Florida sunlight, nor ever have risen on morning fire to spread its wings of celestial flight.

    And that spotlights an inspiring lesson from that golden era of Spaceflight: That is what man can accomplish, what he is capable of, when he works TOGETHER in support of a common aim, inspired—and lead with vision—to achieve a challenge—to realize a dream! What a legacy.

    And Mr. Armstrong’s name will forever be stamped with gold on a symbolic plaque of its history, silent in Earth-glow reflections:

    “On the wings of an eagle I find myself lifted through the skies
    Lifted up above the world to see”

    And for one uniting, breathless moment, mankind saw the “the eagle soaring”.

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