Learn about the first man who walked on the Moon in our 10 amazing Neil Armstrong facts…

 

Neil Armstrong facts

Neil Armstrong facts
Neil in his (at the time) state-of-the-art NASA spacesuit — without the helmet!

Full name: Neil Alden Armstrong
Date of birth: 5 August 1930
Hometown: Wapakoneta, Ohio, U.S.A.
Occupation: Astronaut, military pilot, professor
Died: 25 August 2012
Best known for: Being the first human to walk on the moon

1) Neil Armstrong was the first human to walk on the moon during the NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Apollo 11 mission on 20th July 1969. He completed the mission alongside co-pilots Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins.

2) When Neil was a child growing up in rural America, he loved to learn all about aeroplanes and space. He got his student pilot’s licence when he was just 16 — before he even learned to drive a car!

3) When Neil was 17, he went to university to study aeronautical engineering — the science used in the designing, building and testing of aircrafts. Clever!

Neil Armstrong facts: Neil Armstrong's photographed with his mission for NASA
The Apollo 11 crew – Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin. Neil and Buzz landed on the moon using the ‘Lunar Module’, while Michael guided them from their command base.

3) Around the world, more than half a billion people watched the Moon Landing. When Neil stepped foot on the moon for the first time, he said the now famous line, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

4) Neil walked a distance of about 60 metres on the surface of the moon —that’s roughly the length of 11 Asian elephants!

5) The rocket that launched Neil and his crew into space – the Saturn V rocket – was as tall as a 36-storey building! The Launch Control Center – which housed the team of people responsible for overseeing the launch from the ground – was situated 3.5 miles from the launch pad itself.

Neil Armstrong facts
Neil and his crew talking to the U.S. president at the time, Richard Nixon, on their return from the Apollo 11 mission.

6) The Lunar Module that Neil and Buzz piloted together to land on the moon was called the Eagle. It’s where the now famous saying, “The Eagle has landed”, comes from!

7) Not only were Neil and Buzz the first humans to step foot on the moon, but they were also the first humans to view Earth from the moon’s surface. Neil said that while there, he could hold up his thumb and block out the Earth! He said that the Moon felt lonely, but that it made him realise just how beautiful our home is.

8) When Neil and his co-pilot, Buzz, were on the moon, they collected dust materials from the moon’s surface to study back on Earth. In 2017, the samples were sold at auction for £1.4 millionwow!

Neil Armstrong facts: Neil Armstrong photographed for NASA

9) Neil was considered a great American hero, but a reluctant hero, too. After the Apollo 11 Mission, Neil only stayed with NASA for a further two years. He found the press attention exhausting, and decided that he wanted to be a teacher of engineering in his home state of Ohio. He never returned to life in the spotlight.

10) Neil won many awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969, the Hubbard Medal in 1970, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978 and the General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award. Sadly, Neil died in 2012, but the progress that he made for space travel and our understanding of the Moon is still remembered today!

Image credits: GPA Photo Archive, U.S. Department of State (Public Domain).

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