|Neil Armstrong - Astronaut & Explorer (1930-2012)|
Neil Alden Armstrong is best known for being the first man on the moon. He served in the US Navy flying over 70 missions in the Korean War, and gained a degree in Aeronautical Engineering at Purdue University. Neil Armstrong began working for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics where he became a test pilot who flew over 900 flights in more than 200 different types of aircraft, including the high speed X-15.
This page details facts about Neil Armstrong's life and the events that shaped his history.
|Neil Armstrong the Explorer - Fun Facts for Kids !|
|Neil Armstrong Fact 1:||Neil Armstrong was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio, USA on 5th August 1930. He was the eldest of three children born to Stephen Armstrong, an Ohio state government auditor, and his wife Viola.|
|Neil Armstrong Fact 2:||Neil Armstrong took an interest in flying at an early age. It was while he was being educated at Blume High School in Wapakoneta, Ohio, that he began taking flying lessons. He was flying solo at the age of 16.|
|Neil Armstrong Fact 3:||In 1947 Neil Armstrong attended Purdue University where he studied aeronautical engineering. He was sponsored, at university, by the US Navy under a scheme where he would serve three years with them. His studies were interrupted when he was called up to serve with them in January 1949.|
|Neil Armstrong Fact 4:|
Neil Armstrong began his flight training with the US Navy at the Naval Air Station Pensacola. At the age of 20, Neil Armstrong had become a Naval Aviator (Officer qualified as a pilot in the US Navy), and by the end of June 1951 he was heading for Korea aboard the aircraft carrier ‘USS Essex’.
|Neil Armstrong Fact 5:|
First seeing action in August 1951, Neil Armstrong went on to fly 78 combat missions during the Korean War. In 1952 he left the service and returned to his studies at Purdue University. he graduated in 1955 having gained a degree in Aeronautical Engineering.
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In March 1955 Neil Armstrong began his career with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), which was to become the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). During this employment he had many roles including Engineer, Test Pilot and Astronaut.
|Neil Armstrong Fact 7:||While working as a Test Pilot, Neil Armstrong flew in excess of 900 flights in over 200 different aircraft. Included in the various gliders, helicopters, jets and rockets, was the famous X-15 which reached a speed of 4000mph (miles per hour).|
|Neil Armstrong Fact 8:||On January 28, 1956 Neil Armstrong married Janet Shearon in Wilmette Illinois. He met Janet when he returned to Purdue to resume his studies. Neil Armstrong and Janet had three children, Eric, Karen and Mark. In January 1962 his daughter Karen died from Pneumonia at the age of two. Her death followed a six month battle with a brain tumor.|
|Neil Armstrong Fact 9:||In 1962 Neil Armstrong applied to be, and was accepted as, an Astronaut. He was selected for the Gemini 8 Mission as the command pilot. Gemini 8 was launched on 16th March 1966. During this mission he docked his space capsule with the Agena Target Vehicle, which was unmanned. This was the first time that docking between two vehicles in space had occurred. Although the docking was successful, a problem meant that he had to break away from the Agena Target Vehicle and effect re-entry, landing in the Pacific Ocean approximately 11 hours after the mission began.|
|Neil Armstrong Fact 10:||In December 1968, Neil Armstrong was offered the opportunity to be commander of the Apollo 11 Mission and, on 16 July 1969, Neil Armstrong, Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin and Michael Collins were the crew on board Apollo 11 as it launched on its mission to the moon.|
|Neil Armstrong Fact 11:|
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were to land on the surface of the moon in the Apollo Lunar Module while Michael Collins would remain in the Command Module. On 20 July 1969 Neil Armstrong landed the Lunar Module on the moon. His confirmation of the landing to Mission Control included the words ‘The Eagle has landed’.
|Neil Armstrong Fact 12:|
At 10.56pm Neil Armstrong placed his left boot on the moon’s surface and spoke the famous words ‘That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’. Approximately 20 minutes later Buzz Aldrin left the Lunar Module and became the second person to step onto the moon.
|Neil Armstrong Fact 13:||Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin spent the next two and a half hours on the moon. During their time on the moon they planted a United States flag, conducted experiments, collected samples and took photographs, including photographs of their own footprints. They also left a memorial package containing items commemorating deceased astronauts and cosmonauts including Yuri Gagarin.|
|Neil Armstrong Fact 14:||Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin re-entered the Lunar Module, left the moon’s surface and docked with ‘Columbia’ the Command Module. The mission ended on July 24 1969 when they splashed down in the Pacific and were picked up by the USS Hornet. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins were kept in quarantine for three weeks.|
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The American public lined the streets to honour the astronauts as they toured the USA. Neil Armstrong was awarded many honours by 17 countries. Among the awards were the Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.
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Apollo 11 was to be the last space flight for Neil Armstrong. He became the Deputy Associate Administrator for Aeronautics at NASA until he resigned in 1971. His next post was at the University of Cincinnati as Professor of Aerospace Engineering, where he stayed until 1979. From 1985 to 1986 Neil Armstrong was a member of the National Commission on Space, and was Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident.
Picture of Apollo Lunar Module
|Neil Armstrong Fact 17:||In 1994, after 38 years of marriage, his first wife Janet divorced him and Neil Armstrong married his second wife Carol Knight.|
|Neil Armstrong Fact 18:||On August 7 2012 Neil Armstrong underwent a vascular bypass operation. Following complications, he died on 25 August 2012.|
|Neil Armstrong the Explorer (1930 - 2012) Fun Facts Info for Kids !|