Neil Armstrong: Facts About the First Man to Walk on the Moon

On 20th July 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon. He is obviously best known for this achievement, but there was a lot more to him than just that moment. Below are some of the key facts about Neil Armstrong. Some of them you’ll probably know already, but hopefully you’ll learn something new as well.

  • Neil Armstrong was born on 5th August 1930 in Wapakoneta, Ohio.

  • He was really interested in flight and he managed to get a student pilot’s license when he was 16. He was able to fly a plane before he could drive a car!
  • He studied aeronautical engineering at Purdue University. He was on a US Navy scholarship.
  • In 1949, during his time at Purdue, he was called up to fight in the Korean War. He was a US Navy pilot and successfully completed over 75 combat missions.
  • After the end of the Korean War, Neil Armstrong returned to university and finished his studies.
  • He joined NACA (which later became NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration), testing aircraft (such as the X-15 rocket plane) and working as an engineer.
  • Neil Armstrong joined the astronaut program in 1963, moving to Houston, Texas.
  • He was the command pilot for the Gemini 8 mission in 1966. Armstrong and his fellow astronaut, David Scott, managed to dock two vehicles in space (the first time this had ever been done), but technical difficulties meant that the mission had to be cut short.
  • On 16th July 1969, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins set off on the first manned space mission (Apollo 11) to the Moon. On 20th July 1969, Neil Armstrong piloted Buzz Aldrin in the Lunar Module to the Moon’s surface. They spent about two and a half hours on the Moon, collecting samples and taking photographs. The mission returned on 24th July.
  • After returning to Earth, Neil Armstrong became a massive celebrity, but he was never comfortable with fame and rarely gave interviews. He continued to work for NASA up until the early 1970s. He then became a professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati.
  • Neil Armstrong died on 25th August 2012, following complications resulting from hear surgery.

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