Farewell to a Hero: Photos From Armstrong’s Burial at Sea

Armstrong’s burial service aboard the USS Philippine Sea on September 14, 2012 (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Earlier today, Friday, September 14, 2012, Neil A. Armstrong’s burial at sea service was held aboard the USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) in the Atlantic Ocean. Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, died Saturday, August 25. He was 82.

An icon of exploration for all of humanity, he will be missed by millions and remembered forever. Godspeed, sir, and thank you.

See more photos below.

US Navy personnel carry the cremated remains of Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong

Members of the US Navy ceremonial guard hold an American flag over Armstrong’s remains

A US Navy firing squad fires three volleys in honor of Neil Armstrong

US Navy Lieutenant Commander Paul Nagy and Carol Armstrong, wife of Neil Armstrong, commit the remains of Neil Armstrong to the sea

US Navy Captain Steve Shinego presents the US flag to Carol Armstrong as Neil’s son, Eric “Rick” Armstrong, looks on.

All photos credit NASA/Bill Ingalls.

See more photos from the service on the Flickr set here.

Neil Alden Armstrong, 1930 – 2012.

14 Replies to “Farewell to a Hero: Photos From Armstrong’s Burial at Sea”

    1. I too am of an age that saw the beginnings of the exploration of Space. A Marvelous Journey that included several tragedies! But Life and our endeavors are not without loss. We can but attempt to minamalise the inevitable losses.. Rest in peace Mr Armstrong.

      1. Nor would using what limited space/scientific funding that we have on nonsense like that (we ALL are in “space” right now!) be a wise decision.

      2. Who might ‘we’ be? For enough money, you can buy your *own* space burial:


        Not all, or even most space launches are for scientific purposes (I’d personally be fine with my ashes being tucked away inside a communications satellite, if its owner/operator were agreeable), and they’re not *that* hard to come by…just check the SpaceX backlog. It’s mostly commercial payloads.

        And had Neil wanted it, there’s little doubt that his ashes could have been ‘piggybacked’ on some other already planned, government-funded deep space launch, just as Gene Shoemaker’s ashes are now on the Moon via Lunar Prospector, and a portion of Percival Lowell’s ashes are aboard the New Horizons probe to flyby Pluto. No one’s proposing using taxpayer money for the *exclusive* purpose of sending one man’s remains into space,

        So, I stand by what I said. It could well have been arranged on some future project, and project managers would likely have jumped at the honor to carry him along, it’s just not what Neil wanted.

        And sorry, I can’t agree with your semantics. We are obviously part of the Universe as a whole. But if one is on Earths surface (and perhaps any other planetary surface), no reasonable person will regard that as being ‘in space’ as we normally mean it. Otherwise, you could also argue that continental drift is equivalent to ‘sailing…’

  1. It matter not how you are buried but how you lived and what you have done. He had served in the US military, so the choice here is likely fitting, The Heavens is just a little bit brighter for his exploration on the Moon, and the firmament above is just a little sadder for his departure from this world. A worthy life that will not be forgotten for a long time to come.

    1. “and the firmament above is just a little sadder for his departure from this world”
      Since he chose to leave this world 35 years ago, it’s hard to feel anything at all. And serving in the military instead of doing something productive in your life is hardly something worth praising, especially on a site dedicated to science. He was the beneficiary of a free ride provided by scientists, not the man behind the mission to the moon. There were over 40 million men and women in the United States at the time that could have done the same thing with even less training than he had.

  2. An American icon has passed. Thanks to the Navy Dept for such a dignified service!
    Condolences to Family! A tear is shed here today.

  3. Our tax dollars paid for his immortality and allowed him – through no
    particular effort on his part – to become the first human to set foot on
    another world. That zero (not hero) owed us more than being a JD Salinger-like recluse for most of the past 40 years. Anyone who gets that simply has an obligation to do the odd interview every now and again at the very least. Go ahead and praise him. I know better. He got his glory and then told the rest of us to get stuffed.

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