Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

Neil Armstrong

1930 On August 5th, Wapakoneta, Ohio, USA, Neil Alden Armstrong was born. He was an American astronaut, a test driver, a naval pilot and a university teacher, known as the first man who walked on the Moon. Before becoming an astronaut, he was an officer for American Navy and took part in Korean War. After war, he worked as a test driver for National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, (National Administration of Aeronautics and Space Administration – NASA – today), within High-Speed Flights Station, where he made over 900 flights.

1946 When he was 16, he obtained the pilot license, as being keen on flight.

1947 He started to study Aeronautical Engineering at Purdue University, having a scholarship from American Navy. His studies were interrupted in 1949, after he was requested in the war in Korea.

1949 During the war he conducted 78 combat missions, with a total of 121 flight hours. He was given “Air Medal” distinction for 20 combat missions, “Gold Star” distinction for the next 20, “Korean Service Medal” and “Engagement Star”.

1952 On August 23rd, at 22 years old, he left the Navy being a reserve lieutenant. He came back to Purdue University to continue his studies.



1955 After graduating, he decided to become a test driver and started to mark for Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory on March.

1958 He started his career as an astronaut, after he had been selected by American Air Force for “Man in Space Soonest” (MISS) Programme. It had as goal to place a man into space before Soviet Union. The programme was cancelled on August 1st, and replaced by NASA project called “Project Mercury”.

1961-1975 This time many space flights were made within Apollo Programme, directed by NASA, using Apollo spacecraft and Saturn bearing rocket. The project, directed by North American Aviation, had as main purpose “a man’s landing and his return safely to Earth until the end of 1960”. Armstrong participated to one of the missions of this programme, Apollo 11.

1966 Armstrong, together with David R. Scott, took part to the eighth mission of “Twins” Programme. The two men made a space flight of 10 hours, 41 minutes and 26 seconds. The mission’s goal was to make a first coupling with another space vehicle, a module without people, called Agena. A malfunction caused an uncontrollable spin of the machine; the crew immediately disconnected and made the first emergency landing within an American mission.



1969 On July 20th, Neil and his colleague, Buzz Aldrin, walked on the moon aboard Apollo spacecraft. Armstrong arrived on the moon aboard Eagle module and ensured his place in history declaring the first time he walked on the moon: “It is a small step for man, but a huge start for humanity”.

After coming back on the moon, in short time, Neil withdrew from Apollo Programme.

1971 He withdrew from NASA, too. He accepted to teach within Aerospace Engineering Department of University in Cincinnati.

2012 On August 7th, he suffered an operation to release a blocked coronal arteries. He died on August 25th, in Cincinnati, Ohaio, USA, due to complications appeared after the surgery. In a short time after his death, Armstrong was described, in a public declaration made by the White House, as being “one of the greatest American heroes, not only of his days, but of all times”.

Critics of “landing” movie on July 16th, 1969, sustain, because of proves included in the film, that it was made in a studio on the Earth. The falsification goal would be, in some opinions, the justifications for the diverted funds for Apollo programme, which had never arrived on the moon. Other people consider that the astronauts of Apollo 11 mission would have walked on the moon, but the images are secret, and the audience received a fake.