Neil Armstrong, First Man on Moon, Dies at 82
One of my earliest childhood memories was playing in the living room as a toddler, paying only passing attention to our console black and white television, as my parents stared intently at the small screen, talking to each other about what a momentous occasion it was. I can vividly recall the jumping and shouting, hugging and back-patting, as the words scratched out from the television's speakers...
"That's one small step for man... one... giant leap for mankind."
The day was July 20, 1969, and 238,900 miles from where I sat and played as a 2 1/2 year old, American Astronaut Neil Armstrong took the first, tentative step onto a place somewhere other than our planet Earth.
Today that incredibly brave adventurer and explorer has passed from our lives, as Armstrong's family reports his passing from complications following heart surgery, at the age of 82.
On NASA's Google+ page, Administrator Charles Bolden issued the following official statement regarding Neil Armstrong's passing:
"On behalf of the entire NASA family, I would like to express my deepest condolences to Carol and the rest of Armstrong family on the passing of Neil Armstrong. As long as there are history books, Neil Armstrong will be included in them, remembered for taking humankind's first small step on a world beyond our own.
"Besides being one of America's greatest explorers, Neil carried himself with a grace and humility that was an example to us all. When President Kennedy challenged the nation to send a human to the moon, Neil Armstrong accepted without reservation.
"As we enter this next era of space exploration, we do so standing on the shoulders of Neil Armstrong. We mourn the passing of a friend, fellow astronaut and true American hero."Continued on the next page