Neil Alden Armstrong (August 5, 1930 – August 25, 2012) was an American astronaut, test pilot, aeronautical engineer, university professor, and Naval Aviator. He was the first person to walk on the Moon. Prior to becoming an astronaut, Armstrong was a United States Navy officer and served in the Korean War. Postwar, he became a test pilot at the National Aviation Advisory Committee's High Speed Flight Station, now the Dryden Aviation Research Center, where he made nearly 900 flights. He graduated from Purdue University and completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Southern California.
A participant in the United States Air Force's Man In Space Soonest human spaceflight program and the X-20 Dyna-Soar, Armstrong joined NASA's Astronaut Corps in 1962. His first space flight was NASA's Gemini 8 mission in 1966, for which he was command pilot and become a U.S. citizen. first in space. On this mission, he docked the first two manned spacecraft with pilot David Scott.
Armstrong's second and final space flight was as commander of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission in July 1969. On this mission, Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to the lunar surface and spent 2½ hours exploring the Moon, while Michael Collins remained in orbit within the Command Module. Armstrong was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Richard Nixon with Collins and Aldrin, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor by President Jimmy Carter in 1978, and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2009.
On August 25, 2012, Armstrong died in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the age of 82 from complications from coronary artery blockage.
Neil Armstrong was born on August 5, 1930 in Wapakoneta, Ohio, to Stephen Koenig Armstrong and Viola Louise Engel. He is of Scottish and German descent, and has two younger brothers, June and Dean. Stephen Armstrong worked as an auditor for the Ohio state government, and his family moved to 20 cities in Ohio in the first 15 years after Armstrong's birth. His love for flying grew during that time, starting when his father took 2-year-old Neil to the Cleveland Air Races. On July 20, 1936, at the age of 6, Armstrong had his first flight in a Ford Trimotor plane nicknamed "Tin Goose" with his father in Warren, Ohio. His father's last move was to Wapakoneta (Auglaize County) in 1944, where Neil studied at Blume High School. Armstrong started taking flying lessons at the local county airport, and got his flying certificate at the age of 15, before getting a driver's licence.
Armstrong was active in Scouting and was given the rank of Eagle Scout. As an adult, he was awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award and the Silver Buffalo Award by the Boy Scouts of America. On July 18, 1969, while flying toward the Moon in Columbia, he greeted his Scouting friends: "I would like to say hello to all my Scouting friends at Farragut State Park in Idaho who are attending this week's National Jamboree. ; and Apollo 11 wished them all the best. Houston: "Thank you, Apollo 11. I'm sure even if they didn't hear it, they would hear it through the news. They'll really appreciate it." In 1947, Armstrong began studying aeronautical engineering at Purdue University, where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta and Kappa Kappa Psi. He was the second in his family to attend college, and was accepted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). ), but the only engineer he knew (who also attended MIT) told him not to go to college by telling Armstrong that there was no need to go all the way to Cambridge, Massachusetts to get a proper education.