Neil Armstrong the first American man who walked on the moon Neil Alden Armstrong was born on August 5, 1930. He was born on his grandparents’ farm in Auglaize County. He has a sister named June, and a brother, Dean. His father was an auditor for the State of Ohio, he lived in several communities like: Warren, Ravenna, Jefferson, Upper Sandusky and St. Mary’s before the family decided to live in Wapakoneta.
At age 15, he took flying lessons at an airport north of Wapakoneta. Back then, lessons were $9.00 an hour. He worked at a lot of jobs in town and at the airport to earn the money for the lessons. By age 16, he had a student pilot’s license, even before he got his driver’s license. In 1947, Neil Armstrong graduated from Blume High School in Wapakoneta, Ohio. Then, he was given a scholarship from the Navy. He went to Purdue University and started his studies of aeronautical engineering.
In 1952, Armstrong went back to Purdue University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering. Later, he received a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California.
On March 16, 1966, Armstrong flew his first space mission as command pilot of the Gemini 8, with David Scott. The purpose of that mission was the first space docking. He piloted the Gemini 8 rocket to a successful docking with an Agena craft already in orbit of the Earth. The docking went well, but when the they orbited together, they started go out of control. He was able to undock the Gemini and use the retro rockets to regain control of his craft, but, the astronauts had to make an emergency landing in the Pacific Ocean.
On July 16, 1969, Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin Aldrin began their trip to the moon. Collins was the command module pilot and navigator for the mission. Aldrin, a systems expert, was the lunar module pilot and became the second man to walk on the moon. As commander of the Apollo 11, Armstrong piloted the lunar module to a safe landing on the moon’s surface. On July 20, 1969, at 10:56 P.M., Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. At that time he made his famous statement, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” Armstrong and Aldrin spent about 2 and a-half hours walking on the moon, collecting samples, doing experiments and taking pictures. On July 24, the three men’s space craft landed in the Pacific Ocean. They were picked up by the U.S.S. Hornet.
The three Apollo 11 astronauts were honored with a ticker tape parade in New York City. Armstrong received the Medal of Freedom, which is the highest award a US Civilian can receive. His awards also include the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, 17 medals from other countries, and the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.
When he resigned from NASA in 1971, he was a professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Cincinnati from 1971-1979. Today, Armstrong lives on a farm in Lebanon, Ohio. He is chairman of the board of AIL Systems, Inc., an electronics Systems Company is New York. xx