Neil Armstrong 75 years young

Congratulations should be in order for a great pioneer on his birthday August 5th.

Thought you might want to be reminded :D

Happy Birthday Neil! I really wish he was a little more open, he is very publicity shy. He and Gagagarin are two of the titans of the 20th C.

Akkk! Neil Armstrong??? Mr. "personality"?? Of all the WRONG PEOPLE for Nasa to have picked for the 1st man on the moon, it had to be him.. This guy has done less for space exploration or space pr than my dead grandmother! I remember the moment he set foot ( yes I watched that live on t.v.)! In the intervening years, his reclusive, self centered, self-absorbed dysfunctional personality has destroyed all of the public "Good Things" that he could have accomplished... This guy is/was a total waste, and it's really unfortunate that the only thing Nasa mgmt/engineers could do was go by the flight schedule rather than weighing the PR capabilities of the first man.

His lack of boosterism, as would befit someone who had the great good fortune to be known throughout history, (at taxpayer expense no less!) has, by lack of action, done more damage to our manned space exploration efforts than anything I could think of offhand..

Get beyond the mythos, and look at the man.. you'll see what I see..

Hi John,

I have to say I don't agree with you at all.

I see Armstrong as an extremely competent pilot - a combat veteran of the Korean War.

Remember that he and Scott nearly died three years before Apollo 11 flew, as a result of the spin caused by a dodgy reaction thruster on their Gemini 8 mission. Imagine where Kennedy's plans might have ended up if the US had had to face the fact that two astronauts had died in an accident in space and were still in orbit...

Armstrong saved two lives that day. He more than proved that he had "the right stuff" - that ability to think rationally and make the correct decisions under pressures you and I hopefully never get to meet.

Most importantly of all, he landed a barely tested (and here I'm almost tempted to quote "The Onion") spaceship on the Moon for the first time ever in all of human history, with the eyes of the world upon him, and about 30 seconds of fuel left in the tanks.

Could anybody else have done it, that first time, with such a successful outcome and demonstrating the consumate skill he showed?

Many astronauts - but particularly Collins, Aldrin and Armstrong - returned to the Earth feeling they'd missed out on something big, the biggest thing EVER, because they'd been an integral part of it, and not merely distant observers to it. It's bound to be a sobering experience - one likely to promote self-reflection.

Now, no-one's life should be purely focussed on the events around the 21 and a half hours he spent on the lunar surface. I'm not particularly surprised that he left NASA in '71 (he'd never have flown again, and the Moon missions had reached their end.) In a democracy, in a land of opportunity, what's wrong with the guy taking a back seat after doing what he did?

He's not been an employee of NASA for over 30 years, he was never a spokesperson comfortable with the media. Why not accept him as the right person with the right skills for the particular job at the time, and let him live the rest of his life in peace?

NASA proved to the world that engineering, science and technology could achieve the most incredible goals. The US demonstrated that democracy and openness was an enabling experience. In those terms I'd say the Apollo missions accompanied their design briefs (i.e. "cold war propaganda").

That he took himself off to teach, to farm and to live a quiet life is fine by me.

As to damaging the manned space program, I think you have to point the finger at your politicians and your "short-termist outlook" political system first and foremost.

Andy G

Very well said Andy. I was considering a reply first thing this morning but to be honest I was too mad to think straight.

That's the FIRST MAN ON THE MOON you're talking about, John, the first human being to EVER set foot on the surface of another world. Show some respect. So Armstrong wasn't a media-friendly joker, or a movie idol, or a rugged action man. So what? He was there to do a job, do it calmly, effeciently and correctly, which is exactly what he did. He was the First, and the First was never going to be a yee-ha guy. It would have been far more damaging to NASA and the space program if Apollo 11 had been commanded by a hot-head who crashed Eagle because he thought he was immortal and could take risks. The Apollo 12 crew had a great laugh up there because the pressure was off them, thanks to Armstrong's good job. Later missions saw astronauts playing golf, throwing hammers, racing Moon buggies... all those astronauts had the luxury of knowing that It Had Been Done Before, and that the world wasn't watching, at least not as closely as it had watched Armstrong. when he landed Time literally stood still, a billion people stopped what they were doing and watched him, waiting to see if he would succeed or fail. How would that pressure affect someone? And them when Armstrong had landed the LM, and taken his One Giant Leap, and collected his rocks, and planted his flag and thanked Nixon, he had to get them all home again, and when they prepared to fire the LM engine he and Aldrin knew that if it didn't light they would be stuck there, on the Moon, waiting to die, before the eyes of those same billion people. THAT would have killed the space program - apart from an Apollo 12, maybe, to recover their bodies, but more likely they would have been left there as a memorial - and we'd just be going back to the Moon now. But it lit, they all came home, and next thing they knew they hadn't just made history they WERE History. Immortal, like Columbus, Magellan, all those other great explorers and pioneers.

How the hell do you do more after that? He didn't owe NASA, or us, a thing; he was paid to do a job - land on the Moon and come back - and that was all. He wasn't paid to be a frontman for a glitzy "Hollywood NASA". He had earned the right to do whatever he wanted after splashing down.

The first man - or woman - to set foot on Mars will be hailed as a hero too, but they'll still be second to Armstrong. And on that day, if he lives to see it, which I hope he will, Armstrong will probably look up at the sky and think "Good job..." but know that he did it first, back in the days when rockets were little more than very tall bombs with people crammed into their nose cones.

In world where untalented movie stars are idolised, drug-drenched rock musicians and gun-toting rap singers are treated like gods, and sportsmen are all but worshipped by kids, it's humbling to think that out there, leading a quiet life, having fully earned it, is a real hero. The First Man On The Moon. Think about that, seriously, and tell me the hairs on the back of your neck don't tingle.

Hi Stu...I took an hour or so before I could reply to it, too.

And (for all!) this is what Nixon had "on standby", just in case:

Fate has ordained that the men who went to the Moon to explore in peace will stay on the Moon to rest in peace. These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

These two men are laying down their lives in mankind's most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding. They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.

In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man. In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.

Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man's search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.

For every human being who looks up at the Moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.

Andy,

I actually think Nixon was wise to have a standby speech... no-one knew for sure what would happen when Eagle's pads settled into the dust, or when she tried to lift off again. Everything could have turned out so, so differently. Bit macabre, I know, but I think that's a superb piece of speech writing. Worthy of Sam from the West Wing! :wink:

That certainly is a great speech. Would be better if they had a good speaker delivering it... JFK, Reagan, or Clinton. But Nixon? Blech.

Hi all,

It was a good statement - worthy of the occasion, though thankfully never needed. Ah! Wikipedia here attributes it to William Safire. And rightly notes the similarities in the last line to Rupert Brooke's poem "The Soldier", which ends with:

"If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England."

Hmmm...are poetical plagiarisms rampant in the White House disaster-speech department? Remember Reagan's speech to the Challenger astronauts?

"The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honoured us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for the journey and waved goodbye and slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God."

Borrowed from the poem "High Flight" by John Gillespie Magee, who died aged 19 during WW2.

And Bush, talking of the Columbia disaster? Best he could do was quote Isiah...Grrr! :-(

Andy G

when did neil armstrong die

pmsl :D

I wish I could talk to him personnelly by e-mail, Not to talk about the historically moonlanding but just to chat with the person behind Neil Armstrong.

Jos

I wish I could talk to him personnelly by e-mail, Not to talk about the historically moonlanding but just to chat with the person behind Neil Armstrong.

Jos

:twisted:from suraj

I attended a speech given by Neil Armstrong. Long after he returned to Earth. Long after his spotlight had faded. He was very eager and had positive things to say about your and my future. His speech was very inspiring.

What he does with his own time is his own business.

Used to drive by his place in Lebanon, Ohio years back. Ran a nice little farm, he did. Heard he was an intensely private man. I never stopped to ask if I could hunt arrowheads due to that. Wish I had.

he was such a great guy :lol:

i hate him

What a crap stirring little troll.

happy b-day mr. Armstrong if your still alive. :roll: