Saturday, 25 August 2012


“From now on we live in a world where man has walked on the Moon. It's not a miracle; we just decided to go.” - Tom Hanks

Neil Alden Armstrong (August 5, 1930 – August 25, 2012) was an American NASA astronaut, test pilot, aerospace engineer, university professor and United States Naval Aviator. He was the first human to set foot upon the Moon. Before becoming an astronaut, Armstrong was in the United States Navy and served in the Korean War. After the war, he served as a test pilot at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) High-Speed Flight Station, now known as the Dryden Flight Research Center, where he flew over 900 flights in a variety of aircraft. He graduated from Purdue University and the University of Southern California.

A participant in the U.S. Air Force's Man In Space Soonest and X-20 Dyna-Soar human spaceflight programs, Armstrong joined the NASA Astronaut Corps in 1962. His first spaceflight was the NASA Gemini 8 mission in 1966, for which he was the command pilot, becoming one of the first U.S. civilians to fly in space. On this mission, he performed the first manned docking of two spacecraft with pilot David Scott. Armstrong’s second and last spaceflight was as mission commander of the Apollo 11 moon landing mission on July 20, 1969. On this mission, Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to the lunar surface and spent 2½ hours exploring while Michael Collins remained in orbit in the Command Module.

Armstrong was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Richard Nixon along with Collins and Aldrin, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor by President Jimmy Carter in 1978, and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2009.

Here is Glenn Gould in the 1981 Studio Video recording playing Bach’s “ Goldberg Variations”. A fitting memorial for the man who made a small step, but achieved a giant leap for mankind.

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