Monday, September 17, 2012

Farewell to an American pioneer: Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, given hero's burial at sea as his remains committed to ocean by his widow!

First man on the moon buried at sea today by his widow Carol Given full ceremonial burial by U.S. Navy off the coast of Florida

Emotional memorial service held yesterday at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
Made history with 1969 Apollo 11 moon landingNeil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon, was buried at sea today with a full military service.

The ashes of the ‘reluctant’ icon of the 1960s Space Race were transported on the guided missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea and were committed to the Atlantic Ocean.

Yesterday, Armstrong was praised in a memorial service at the National Cathedral as a humble hero who led mankind into space.

As commander of the Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969.The legendary astronaut was born on August 5, 1930, near Wapakoneta, Ohio.

He went on to work in the military, fighting in the Korean War. Later, he would pilot planes for NASA, and eventually, spacecrafts.

During the historic mission on July 20, 1969, nearly half a billion people tuned in to watch the black and white mission to the moon, where Armstrong, joined by Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, spent some two hours loping around on the eerie grey surface.

He radioed back to Earth the historic news of 'one giant leap for mankind.' 'The sights were simply magnificent, beyond any visual experience that I had ever been exposed to,' Armstrong once said.

The moonwalk marked America's victory in the Cold War space race that began October 4, 1957, with the launch of the Soviet Union's Sputnik 1, a 184-pound satellite that sent shock waves around the world.

Although he had been a Navy fighter pilot, a test pilot for NASA's forerunner and an astronaut, Armstrong never allowed himself to be caught up in the celebrity and glamor of the space program.

'I am, and ever will be, a white socks, pocket protector, nerdy engineer,' he said in February 2000 in one of his rare public appearances. 'And I take a substantial amount of pride in the accomplishments of my profession.'

However, his Apollo 11 moon mission turned out to be Armstrong's last space flight. The following year he was appointed to a desk job, being named NASA's deputy associate administrator for aeronautics in the office of advanced research and technology.

Armstrong, who died last month in Ohio at age 82, walked on the moon in July 1969. 'He's now slipped the bonds of Earth once again, but what a legacy he left,' former Treasury Secretary John Snow told the gathering.

Apollo 11 crewmates Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins and Mercury astronaut John Glenn and about two dozen members of Congress were among the estimated 1,500 people in the cavernous cathedral.

A moon rock that the Apollo 11 astronauts gave the church in 1974 is embedded in one of its stained glass windows.NASA administrator Charles Bolden, a former astronaut, said Armstrong's humility and courage 'lifted him above the stars'.

Bolden read a letter from President Barack Obama saying, 'the imprint he left on the surface of the moon is matched only by the extraordinary mark he left on ordinary Americans'.

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