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Neil A. Armstrong

First Man to Walk

On the Moon

Born Wapakoneta, Ohio

August 5, 1930—

Neil Alden Armstrong became a Naval Aviator in 1949 and flew 78 combat missions in the Korean War. He received a Degree in Aeronautical Engineering at Purdue University in 1955.

In 1955, Neil Armstrong became a research test pilot for NASA assigned to the prestigious X-15 program, flying this aircraft to the fringes of space at an altitude of over 200,000 feet and 4000 miles per hour. In 1962, he was selected as the first U.S. Astronaut serving as backup pilot on the Gemini V flight, and as Command Pilot on the 1966 Gemini VIII flight which performed the first successful docking of two spacecraft. He subsequently flew on the Gemini VIII and Apollo XI missions.

As spacecraft commander for Apollo XI, the first manned lunar landing mission, Armstrong was the first man to walk on the Moon. "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." With these historic words, man's dream of the ages was fulfilled. With the exception of Charles Lindbergh’s epic flight in 1927, no event in history so captured the imagination of all men as they witnessed live, as the voices and ghostly figures of Apollo XI were broadcast from the moon, nearly a quarter of a million miles away.

Neil Armstrong left NASA in 1971 and became Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Cincinnati.

Invested 1966 in the International Aerospace Hall of Fame

From "These We Honor," The International Hall of Fame; The San Diego Aerospace Museum, San Diego, CA. 1984

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Updated: March 12, 2004