Neil Armstrong

Astronaut Profile
Selection Date:1962
Retirement Date:1969
Time in Space:8/14:10
Gemini 8, Apollo 11

Neil Alden Armstrong (born August 5, 1930) is an American test pilot, astronaut, and was the first human being to walk on the Moon.

Armstrong was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio and served in the Korean War. In 1950, he was sent to Korea where he flew 78 combat missions from USS Essex in a Grumman F9F-2 Panther. He received the Air Medal and two Gold Stars. He attended Purdue University and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1955. He later earned a masters degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California.

Armstrong then became a civilian test pilot for the NACA (which later became NASA) at the High-Speed Flight Station (which later became the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center) at Edwards Air Force Base, California. On November 30, 1960, Armstrong made his first flight in the North American X-15. He made a total of seven flights in the rocket plane reaching an altitude of 207,500 feet in the X-15-3 and a Mach number of 5.74 (3,989 mph) in the X-15-1. He left the Flight Research Center with a total of 2,450 flying hours in more than 50 aircraft types.

From 1960 to 1962 he was a pilot involved in the cancelled United States Air Force Dyna-Soar orbital glider program.

Armstrong was selected by NASA as an astronaut in 1962. He served as the backup command pilot for the Gemini 5 mission in 1965.

He commanded Gemini 8, which achieved the first docking of two orbiting spacecraft, in 1966, but aborted shortly after docking, because of malfunctioning maneuvering thrusters. He was the backup command pilot for the Gemini 11 mission in 1966. He also served as commander of the backup crew for the Apollo 8 lunar orbital mission in 1968.

In 1969, Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission, which included lunar module pilot Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and command module pilot Michael Collins.

He narrowly escaped death during training in the crash of a lunar landing research vehicle (LLRV) on May 6, 1969 (see List of space disasters.) During the actual mission, he took manual control of the Lunar Module (LM) Eagle and piloted it away from a rocky area to a safe landing. His first words from the Moon were: "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed." Several hours later he climbed out of the LM and became the first person to walk on the Moon and said:

Missing image
Neil Armstrong works at the LM in one of the few photos taken of him from the lunar surface. NASA photo AS11-40-5886
"That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind."
(hear original audio – .wav 260 kb)

Unlike Buzz Aldrin, Armstrong rarely makes public appearances and has had a low media profile. Despite the numerous potential commercial opportunities Armstrong has had, he cannot have been said to have made any large financial gain.

Armstrong joined the faculty of the University of Cincinnati in 1971, and remained there as a professor of aerospace engineering until 1979.


In May 2005, Armstrong became involved in an unusual legal battle with his barber. Barber Marx Sizemore of Lebanon, Ohio admitted that he picked up some of Armstrong's hair from the floor of his barber shop and sold it to a collector for $3,000 without Armstrong's knowledge or consent. Armstrong's attorney contended that this violated the former astronaut's rights under Ohio law and threatened legal action unless the barber returned the hair or donated the proceeds to a charity of Armstrong's choosing.[1] (

Formerly a resident of Turtlecreek Township, Warren County, Ohio, he currently resides in Indian Hill, Ohio.

There is a small crater on the Moon near the Apollo 11 landing site that is named in his Armstrong da:Neil Armstrong de:Neil Armstrong el:Νηλ Άρμστρονγκ es:Neil Armstrong eo:Neil ARMSTRONG fr:Neil Armstrong gl:Neil Armstrong it:Neil Armstrong he:ניל ארמסטרונג hu:Neil Armstrong nl:Neil Armstrong ja:ニール・アームストロング no:Neil Armstrong nb:Neil Armstrong nn:Neil Armstrong pl:Neil Armstrong pt:Neil Armstrong fi:Neil Armstrong sv:Neil Armstrong th:นีล อาร์มสตรอง tr:Neil Armstrong zh:尼尔·阿姆斯特朗


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