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Neil Armstrong, commander of Apollo 11, was the first man to have stepped on the moon.
Between 1968 – 1972, American astronauts traveled from the Earth to the Moon. Gene Cernan, Apollo 10 and Apollo 17, John Young, Apollo 10 and Apollo 16, James Lovell, Apollo 8 and Apollo 13 are the three astronauts who traveled from the Earth to the Moon twice.
The six flags that were planted on the Moon were made of ordinary nylon design to be erected on Moon during the Apollo astronaut program. It was hung on telescoping staffs with bars constructed horizontally using an inch anodized aluminum tube.
Each flag is associated with one Apollo program. Only five flags are shown up by the high-resolution images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). Since the flag related to Apollo 11 was nailed close to the lander, it was knocked over by the rocket exhaust when Neil and Aldrin took off again. These flags are bleached to white because of the heat of the Sun.
On December 12, 1972, Eugene Andrew Cernan, an American astronaut, aeronautical engineer, and fighter pilot, was the last astronaut to leave the lunar orbit and the most recent person to stand on Moon's surface. On January 16, 2017, he died at 82 in Texas.
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On August 5, 1930, Neil Alden Armstrong was born near Wapakoneta, Ohio.
His mother Viola's family owned the farm, and his father, Stephan Armstrong, was a civil servant and worked for Ohio Mental Hygiene and Corrections Department as an Assistant Director. The family moved in and around Ohio before settling in Wapakoneta, Ohio. Armstrong who was the eldest son with two younger brothers grew up in Wapakoneta, Ohio. At the tender age of six, Armstrong got an opportunity to ride a transport plane which inspired him to build a model airplane and a wind tunnel to test them. During his school days, aviation was always his first choice. His interest in being a pilot made him seek a pilot's license on his 16th birthday, much before he got a driving license.
In 1947, he completed his graduation from high school and started attending college at Purdue University on a Navy scholarship. However, during the Korean War in 1950, the state called upon Armstrong to active duty. He was part of the carrier Essex, flying a combat mission over North Korea. The airline he flew was hit by enemy fire, and he successfully nursed the plane back to safety. During the war, he logged for more than 1,000 hours as a test pilot. Amstrong received three Air Medals for his outstanding skills as a pilot and his flair for leadership. After completing his services during the Korean war, he finished his active duty as a military pilot in 1952. Amstrong completed his bachelor's degree from Purdue and passed out as an aeronautical engineer in 1955. He became the civilian test pilot, and Armstrong joined the National Advisory Committee and was stationed at the Mojave Desert Edwards Air Force Base. During his days at Purdue, Armstrong was dating beauty queen Janet Shearon. Eventually, they married in 1956.
In 1963, the National Aeronautics And Space Administration (NASA) was under tremendous pressure in fulfilling President Kennedy's objective to race ahead of the Soviet Union and put an American on the Moon before the end of the decade. Armstrong became the first choice as Kennedy preferred some civilian astronaut for this mission. In 1966 Armstrong and his fellow astronaut David Scott made their first space flight on their Ship, Gemini 8. A malfunctioning thruster sent the space vehicles tumbling while docking their ship with an unscrewed Agena rocket. Unmoved, Armstrong successfully disconnected the two vehicles, and Gemini 8 was back under control and made a guarded emergency landing in the Pacific ocean. The NASA astronauts and the officials highly appreciated his extraordinary piloting skill.
Armstrong was piloting a lunar landing training vehicle a couple of years after the Gemini 8 incident, which failed just 200 ft (61 m) off the ground, but escaped and parachuted to safety. On January 1, 1969, Armstrong was named the commander of the first human-crewed spaceship Apollo 11, scheduled to land on the moon. It is assumed that NASA's first choice was always mission Commander Neil Armstrong. However, there was a dispute on who should be the first man to step on the Moon.
The head of the astronaut corps made a call and decided that Neil, the commander, had the seniority to be the first man to step. As per the Boston Herald, Armstrong was drawing a $27,401 at the Apollo flight in 1969. This salary was the highest paid to any flying astronauts and is equivalent to $190,684 in 2019. Aldrin and Michael Collins, the famous astronauts, were named his crewmates. On July 16, 1969, the massive Apollo 11 spaceship successfully blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., at Kennedy Space Centre. On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the moon near the Dry Sea of Tranquillity. Five places in southern California have contributed to the making of Apollo 11 assembly lines.
Armstrong's quote, 'That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind', just after stepping on the Moon was well-known to the world. This achievement was a great moment, and all the fans at New York City gathered at York's Yankee Stadium stood up and cheered. The whole nation saluted them on August 13, 1969, and they were with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Within less than seven hours, the television channels aired grainy pictures showing the first human to set foot on the lunar soil.
After that, he restricted himself for a couple of years for an astronaut office desk job at NASA headquarters as a deputy associate administrator for aeronautics. He resigned from NASA in 1971. After completing his master's degree in aeronautical engineering at USC, Armstrong began another phase of his life and returned to Ohio. Armstrong trained and taught aerospace engineering at Cincinnati. He later owned a large dairy farm near Lebanon, where he enjoyed his work on the farm.
From 1989 - 2002, he was on boards of several large corporations. In 1994 Armstrong divorced his 38 years old wife and married Carol Knight, who was 15 years his junior and receded from public life. At the age of 82, he underwent heart bypass surgery, and on August 25, 2012, he died due to complications.
On July 20, 1969, the small spacecraft Apollo – 11 rested gently on the Moon near the Dry Sea of Tranquillity at 1:04:40 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.
The first message radioed back by Armstrong was "The Eagle has landed." The American astronaut Neil Armstrong finally placed his left leg on the lunar surface at 10:56 p.m. on July 20, 1969. He gazed down at the first man-made footprint by a human on the Moon. Armstrong set his first foot on lunar soil and became the first human being ever to achieve this fate. Aldrin followed Armstrong out of Eagle 19 minutes later into the Lunar Module. Both spent a couple of hours setting up the seismic equipment and planting the American flag on the moon's surface. They collected varieties of soil and rock samples and took photographs. Exactly after 6 hrs 52 minutes, stunning pictures of stepping on the Moon were telecasted to the world. 16,000 fans stood up as a token of respect and cheered at New York's Yankee Stadium.
Armstrong got married to Janet Shearon on January 28, 1956. He achieved a lot in his professional life and was a successful man. His personal life was far from perfect, and he had a family consisting of his wife, two sons, and a daughter Karen. They sadly lost their daughter Karen in 1962. Neil was so focused on his profession that he was unavailable for his family, and Janet took over the burden to take care of their kids independently. His mission caused a rift between his wife, and their marriage ended in 1994. Janet moved on to Utah to start a new life after divorce. After Neil Armstrong's divorce, he went into a depression but recovered when he met Carol Knight, who later became his second wife, and they stayed together until his death.
At the age of 82, Armstrong died of complications from an operation on August 25, 2012. He was admitted to the hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he underwent heart bypass surgery.
The Apollo mission left almost 96 bags of waste near the Moon landing area to maximize space.
This waste includes measuring devices, tools, scoops, and hammers left back on the lunar surface. Armstrong and Aldrin spent nearly 150 minutes outside the Lunar Module conducting experiments and exploration. Michael Collins was in the spacecraft as the command module pilot of Apollo 11. They stayed on the Moon for just more than 21 hours. The moonwalkers had carried a silicon disc of the size of a 50-cent coin. The disc was hidden inside an aluminum capsule to protect it against the severe temperatures on the Moon. The capsule was left near the moon landing area as they explored the Sea of Tranquillity.
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