Millions of people watched on July 16, 1969, as man planted the first human footprint on the moon, stepping softly on the Sea of Tranquility. Neil Armstrong, rocket technology, and the Apollo 11 moon mission launched the world into a new era.
Neil Alden Armstrong was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio on August 5, 1930. He has earned many prestigious diplomas. Armstrong received his bachelor degree of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from Purdue University, and then his masters from the University of Southern California in the same field. Armstrong served as a naval aviator from 1949-1952, and flew 78 combat missions in the Korean War. He joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics at the Lewis Laboratory in Cleveland, Ohio as a research pilot, later transferring to the NACA High Speed Flight Station at Edwards AFB in California. Armstrong was a project pilot on the 4,000 mph X-15 craft in 1955, flying at an altitude of over 200,000 feet. Throughout his career, Mr. Armstrong has flown over 200 kinds of aircrafts ranging from jets and rockets to gliders and helicopters (“Biographical Data”).
Made an official astronaut in 1962, Armstrong was selected as the first U.S. astronaut serving as a backup pilot on Gemini 5. He served as a command pilot for the Gemini 8 mission on March 16, 1966 , at which time he performed the first successful docking of two vehicles in space (“Biographical Data”). Also in 1966, Armstrong was inducted into the International Aerospace Hall of Fame. Neil Armstrong’s most famous expedition was with the Apollo 11 manned lunar landing, taking of on July 16 and hitting surface on July 20, 1969, which earned him the distinction of being the first man to land a craft on the moon, and the first to set foot on its surface (“Biographical Data”). This allowed him to be awarded the Presidential Medal for Freedom in 1969. Armstrong also held the position of Deputy Association Administrator for Aeronautics at the NASA Headquarters Office of Advanced Research and Technology from 1970-71 before retiring from NASA in 1971. From 1971-1979, he worked at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio as professor of Aeronautical Engineering (“Biographical Data”).
There were many disagreements involved in deciding the best method of going to the moon, however, by early 1962, the lunar-orbit-rendezvous, championed by NASA engineer John C. Houbolt, was gaining popularity (“US Centennial of Flight”). The LOR would launch one Saturn 5, Command Module Columbus, and the Eagle landing craft into Earth orbit. The Eagle would be extracted from Columbus, then an engine...