A Birthday Remembered: Today we remember Apollo astronaut Neil Armstrong, who would have celebrated his 83rd birthday on August 5. Armstrong became a NASA astronaut in 1962 and is shown here in July 1965 while assigned as back-up command pilot for the Gemini 5 mission. Neil went on to fly Gemini 8 in 1966 and Apollo 11 in 1969.
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I remember reading the news about Neil’s death that fateful day, on Universe Today and it really felt like someone suddenly giving me a punch in the stomach! Even though you know that ultimately everyone dies, the shock was huge and overwhelming nevertheless. I really cried for minutes and minutes afterwards.
Adding insult to injury, I was socked even more to read comments on the news on online Greek newspapers, from so many readers, advocating the tired and old Moon ‘hoax’ arguments, literally pissing all over Neil’s passing! The dreaded return of the ‘No-Moonies’ cult!
I later realised that I shouldn’t have lost my temper that much anyway, cause in all fairness, a big part part of the Greek population is consisted of idiots and morons of the highest stupidity imaginable. They wouldn’t understand awe, even if it punched them in the face! The state of the country is a testament to that fact anyway. But I was really saddened to see that those same Moon ‘hoax’ arguments were shared by many Americans also.
Having said that, the only thing a can add is, Godspeed Neil on your trip towards Infinity! Thank you for giving us all that you did! You’re really a star on its way to the stars!
Among the excellent books on the Apollo program, read “First Man.” It is the definitive biography on Armstrong’s life. There are interesting sections on the moon landing and especially the “first out” question.
The post-Apollo 11 press conference is captivating viewing. Imagine being in the audience that day in the presence of the first human beings ever to step foot on another world! Apollo will forever be etched in human history and Armstrong’s name will be synonymous with all that represents the human desire to explore the unknown. R.I.P., Neil!