Moon was, and still is, a fascinating thing to the human kind. To conquer the moon for the first time, three astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin set off for the moon in 1969 boarding on Apollo 11. Among them, Neil Armstrong was the first man who set foot on the Moon. He was a hero of millions. But the sad news is that this space legend is no more with us.
Just two days after his 82nd birthday (Neil Armstrong was born on August 5, 1930), the first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong, had a bypass heart surgery to relieve four blocked coronary arteries on 7 August. According to his wife, Carol, after the bypass heart surgery, Neil Armstrong was “doing great.” But unfortunately due to some complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures from that surgery led Neil Armstrong to death on Saturday, August 25 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He died at the age of 82.
Buzz Aldrin, who landed on the moon after Neil Armstrong said in a BBC interview, “We are missing a great spokesman and leader in the space program.” He also said that he would remember Armstrong “as being a very capable commander and leader of an achievement that will be recognized until man sets foot on the planet Mars.”
Michael Collins, who was the Command Module Pilot as well as the third astronaut in Apollo 11 mission also paid tribute to his commander Neil Armstrong in a NASA statement, “He was the best, and I will miss him terribly.”
US President Barack Obama said in a White House statement that “Neil’s spirit of discovery lives on in all the men and women who have devoted their lives to exploring the unknown — including those who are ensuring that we reach higher and go further in space. That legacy will endure — sparked by a man who taught us the enormous power of one small step.”
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the astronaut’s death “marks the end of an amazing era in human progress.”
NASA’s chief Charles Bolden said in a statement on Saturday, “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.”
Neil Armstrong’s family has said in a statement released by NASA, “For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”
If you are interested to know more about Neil Armstrong’s life and legacy, then you can visit the website, neilarmstronginfo.com, created by NASA.