Winking at the Moon in Memory of Neil Armstrong

“Moon Through apple trees in Nova Scotia. The genesis and the destination.” Credit: Murdo Messer

In the statement released by the family of Neil Armstrong following his death, they said, “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.”

In the spirit of that request, we asked our readers to send in any pictures they took of the Moon last night while they thought of Neil and gave him a wink

“Moon, August 25, 2012. I had to shoot the Moon tonight to honour Neil Armstrong, who died today. Neil may be gone but his footprints will remain for millions of years.” Credit: Andrew Symes

Fly me to the Moon, on August 25, 2012 from Sydney, Australia. Credit: Carlos Orue.

“If I live until the day when mankind sow their footprints on Mars or beyond, I’ll remember that today, August 25, 2012, we said goodbye to the first of us to put his plan into another world. Farewell, Colonel Armstrong, now you’re in home.” Credit: Eduardo Marino.

The Moon on August 25, 2012. Credit: JM Rozada

The Moon on the evening of Neil Armstrong’s death. Credit: Mark Zaugg

“A wink for Neil,” writes Mike O’Shea from Methuen, Massachusetts. “Unfortunately not high calibre photo taken last night by my iPhone.
But the thought is still there.”

A church steeple in North London on August 26, 2012, with the Moon as a backdrop. Credit: Sculptor Lil on Flickr

Where Neil Armstrong’s footsteps lie. Taken August 25th, 2012 in Wauseon, Ohio. 20 exposures aligned and combined in Nebulosity 3 using my TEC 140 and QSI 583 WSG with Astrodon 3nm Ha Filter. Credit: Bill Schlosser.

The Moon as seen in Croatia on August 26, 2012, with a Meade etx-70, 5x Barlow and Nikon d5100. Stacked with 50 frames in Registax.

Neil Armstrong 1930-2012. Sic itur ad astra – thus one goes to the stars
Credit: Dalibor Grubacevic

A red Moon setting over the periphery of Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, taken on 27 July 2012, at 22.30 GMT. Credit: Pavel Gregoric

We’ll add more images as they come in. Join our Flickr group or send us your images by email

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:
http://www.neilarmstronginfo.com

Watch Neil Armstrong’s First Steps on the Moon

The iconic footage of the Apollo 11 Moonwalk is a must-watch, especially today when we remember Neil Armstrong, the first person to set foot on the Moon. He passed away today at the age of 82. His enduring legacy will continue to spur us on to reach for the stars and take more first steps on other worlds.

Below is footage from Apollo 11’s landing on the Moon on July 20, 1969, and Armstrong’s famous words, “Houston, Tranquility Base. The Eagle has landed.”
Continue reading “Watch Neil Armstrong’s First Steps on the Moon”

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

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.

Neil Armstrong Recovering from Heart Surgery

Neil Armstrong

Iconic Apollo astronaut and Moon walker Neil Armstrong is recovering from heart surgery, but is doing well. Reports say that Armstrong, 82, underwent quadruple bypass heart surgery Tuesday after failing a stress test. His wife, Carol, says “He’s doing great.”

“NASA wishes Neil Armstrong the very best for a quick recovery from surgery,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in a statement. “Neil’s pioneering spirit will surely serve him well in this challenging time and the entire NASA Family is holding the Armstrong family in our thoughts and prayers. I know countless well-wishers around the world join us in sending get well wishes to this true American hero.”


Armstrong’s spirits are reportedly high, and even though surgeons had to bypass four blockages in his coronary arteries, the doctors expect no complications with his recovery.

The first man to walk on the Moon celebrated his 82nd birthday on August 5.

Armstrong made history on July 20, 1969 when he walked on the Moon. Previously he flew on Gemini 8 in 1966 with Dave Scott, and he also flew to the edge of space during his time with NASA’s X-15 program.

Armstrong kept a low public after the Apollo 11 mission, but has recently testified at congressional hearings on the future of NASA human spaceflight. He was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal last November.

Source: Cosmic Log

Viewing Alert: New Interview Series with Neil Armstrong

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There’s a new four-part interview series with Apollo astronaut Neil Armstrong, and part 1 is now available for viewing. The first man to walk on the Moon gives a personal commentary on Apollo 11’s historic lunar landing, his thoughts on leadership and taking risks to innovate for the future. With the future of NASA’s program currently under scrutiny, throughout the series Armstrong will talk about his position on the policy direction of the space agency, speaks candidly on his early life, and even tackles conspiracy theorist claims that the Moon landing never happened – using images from Google Moon to demonstrate their path. The series also includes previously unseen footage of the lunar descent. Armstrong doesn’t give many interviews, and the show’s producers say this is the first on-camera interview Armstrong has done since 2005. The episodes are from evoTV’s series, The Bottom Line.

The different parts will be released over the next few weeks:

Part 1 – Space Race: now available

Part 2 – Blast Off available 8 May

Part 3 – Giant Leap available 15 May

Part 4 – Presidential Pride available 22 May

Best Views Yet of Historic Apollo Landing Sites

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Just over 42 years after Neil and Buzz became the first humans to experience the “stark beauty” of the lunar surface, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter captured the remnants of their visit in the image above, acquired Nov. 5, 2011 from an altitude of only 15 miles (24 km). This is the highest-resolution view yet of the Apollo 11 landing site!

The Lunar Module’s descent stage, a seismic experiment monitor, a laser ranging reflector (LRRR, still used today to measure distances between Earth and the Moon) and its cover, and a camera can be discerned in the overhead image… as well as the darker trails of the astronauts’ bootprints, including Armstrong’s jaunt eastward to the rim of Little West crater.

The crater was the furthest the Apollo astronauts ventured; in fact, if you take the total area Neil and Buzz explored it would easily fit within the infield of a baseball diamond!

Neil Armstrong’s visit to the crater’s edge was an unplanned excursion. He used the vantage point to capture a panoramic image of the historic site:

Panorama of the Apollo 11 site from Little West crater. (NASA)

“Isn’t that something! Magnificent sight out here.” Armstrong had stated before he was joined by Aldrin on the lunar surface. “It has a stark beauty all its own. It’s like much of the high desert of the United States. It’s different, but it’s very pretty out here.”

Previously the LROC captured the Apollo 15 landing site, which included the tracks of the lunar rover — as well as the rover itself! And, just yesterday, the LROC site operated by Arizona State University featured the latest similarly high-resolution view of the Apollo 12 site. This location has the honor of being two landing sites in one: Apollo 12 and the Surveyor 3 spacecraft, which had landed on April 20, 1967 – two and a half years earlier!

The Apollo 12 landing site in Oceanus Procellarum. (NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University)

Even though the US flag planted by Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean isn’t itself visible, the shadow cast by it is.

Apollo 12 was the only mission to successfully visit the site of a previous spacecraft’s landing, and it also saw the placement of the first Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package (ALSEP), which included a seismometer and various instruments to measure the lunar environment.

Read more about this image on the LROC page here, and check out the video tour below of the Apollo 12 site.

Images and video courtesy of NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University