Getting to know the First Man on the Moon
Apollo 11 was the spaceship that NASA built to send the first humans onto the Moon. Out of the three astronauts that this spaceship carried, only two of them set foot on the lunar ground while the other one stayed on the ship to perform several experiments and also took pictures. The person to get the credit of being the first man to step on the Moon was Neil Armstrong.
Neil A. Armstrong was brought to this world on August 5, 1930, in Wapakoneta, Ohio. He graduated from Blume High School, where he also took flying classes. At age 16, he already had a flight certificate. From his participation in the Boy Scouts, he received the Eagle Scout rank and later garnered a couple of awards: Silver Buffalo Award and Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.
In college, he enrolled at Purdue University and chose to study aeronautical engineering. He was a successful applicant of the Holloway Plan, where he didn’t have to pay for tuition. To explain this arrangement, those who got in are committed to studying for two years, a couple of years of flight training, a calendar of service as the U.S Navy’s aviator, and another two years to complete his chosen degree.
In 1955, Neil joined NACA or National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics after serving from 1949 to 1952 as an aviator. He was initially assigned with NASA Glenn, which was previously known as NACA Lewis Research Center, located in Cleveland. For more than 17 years, he worked for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and its predecessor, the NACA, as an administrator, test pilot, engineer, and astronaut. The salary, higher than that of a financial advisor.
For his research pilot job in NASA’s Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, he became a project pilot on numerous pioneering aircraft, including the popular beast, 4000 mph X-15. Throughout his time there, he has driven more than 200 flying vehicles like helicopters, jets, gliders, and even rockets.
In 1962, Armstrong officially became an astronaut, and for the Gemini 8 mission, he was tasked to be the command pilot. This initiative commenced on March 16, 1966, and he successfully maneuvered the first docking of two spaceships. In July 1969, he was the spacecraft commander for the remarkable Apollo 11, which was the first initiative for a lunar landing. Twenty minutes after he walked on the Moon, Edwin Aldrin, a doctorate degree holder, followed him. The two reportedly gathered 47.51 pounds of samples and have walked for an estimated 3,300 feet while his other colleague, Michael Collins, remained on the spaceship. The unforgettable line Armstrong uttered while on the surface was, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”
After this historical event, Neil subsequently worked in NASA Headquarters as Deputy Associate Administrator for Aeronautics. He was in charge of the management and coordination of the federal agency’s technology and research tasks regarding aeronautics.
From 1971 to 1979, Armstrong added another position to his credit, a professor, when he imparted his unparalleled experiences and knowledge at the University of Cincinnati, specializing in Aerospace Engineering. In the years between 1982 and 1992, he was appointed as the chairman of Computing Technologies for Aviation, Inc.
For his undeniable investments in aeronautics, he has received numerous recognitions in 17 countries, including the Congressional Gold Medal, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the Federation Aeronautique Internationale’s Gold Space Medal, and the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom, which was given by the former President Richard Nixon. Unfortunately, the history-making astronaut went on another journey on August 25, 2012, leaving his three children and second wife Carol Knight, whom he married in 1994. According to Celebrity Net Worth, at the age of 82, Neil had a fortune amounting to $8 million (adjusted for inflation) at the time of his passing.