Monday, August 5, 2013
August 5 - Neil Armstrong
Engineer, pilot and astronaut Neil Armstrong was born on August 5, 1930, near Wapakoneta, Ohio. He majored in aeronautical engineering on a Navy scholarship at Purdue University, then entered the Navy as a pilot in 1949. After flying combat missions in the Korean War, he joined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and became an astronaut in 1962. He made his first space flight in 1966 as command pilot of Gemini 8, and was the first civilian astronaut to fly in space. In the early hours of July 21, 1969, after having landed on the Moon on NASA’s Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong uttered the words "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind" after descending from the lunar module and stepping on the Moon’s surface. He revealed in 1983 that he did not did not prepare those words in advance, but only after landing on the Moon, explaining that, since the odds of a successful touchdown were only 50-50, “it didn't seem to me there was much point in thinking of something to say if we'd have to abort landing."