Astronaut Neil Armstrong, who is an American, was the first human being to set foot on the moon. He landed on the moon in the twentieth century, and called his initial instants on the moon “one small stride for man, one giant jump for mankind.” This was heard and watched in televisions by so many viewers, and this made Armstrong extremely famous.   Armstrong was born on 5th August 1930. He was born to Stephen Koenig in Wapakoneta and had two younger siblings. His father worked for the Ohio state government and his family moved around the state during his young life before they settled in 1944.

He started his flying lessons at the age of fifteen, and he was given his pilot’s license before he attained his driving license. Armstrong was physically and naturally interested in aviation, and so he decided to do a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from a university called Purdue. His tuition fee was paid by the Holloway plan. He later had his master’s degree in the same engineering course at Southern California University.  He acquired voluntary doctorates from several universities. Before he completed his degree, he admitted to Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida, and there, he received his wings while he was at the age of 20 years. This made him the youngest pilot in his regiment.


Armstrong did several jobs around town and, particularly, in the local airport as he had all been mesmerized with aviation. He was a former university professor, aerospace engineer, and an astronaut. Before he became an astronaut, he served in the United States Navy, and participated in the Korean War. Later, he became a test pilot and flew several flights in different aircrafts.  Armstrong had his first spaceflight in 1962, and became the first American inhabitant to fly in space. He was awarded the presidential Medal of Freedom (Wagener 89).

After Armstrong graduated, he was determined to become a test pilot, so he applied at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, but he was not given a chance here. Later, he started working at Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory in Cleveland, Ohio. Here, he worked for several months, and then transferred to Edward Air Force Base in California where he worked with NACA’s High Speed Flight Station. Armstrong had several flights of experimental aircraft. He was able to attain speeds of Mach 5.74 (4,000mph or 6,615km/h), and an elevation of 63,198 meters of 207,500 feet in the X-15 flight.  Neil was involved in several incidents, which took place, in Edwards, and these test pilots praised his engineering ability.  Being an engineer by training, he had a practical competence to flying which was the desire for most of his colleagues. However, some of the non-engineering pilots like Chuck Yeager and others were trying to pull him down by telling him that his flying technique was excessively motorized. They were arguing that flying was at least felt, not something, which came naturally, to the engineers, and this might have been the reason why they sometimes they get into trouble in numerous incidents (Jackson & Engel 28).

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Armstrong was a successful test pilot, and he was involved in one of the most famous event which was in 1962 when he was sent to go and examine Delamar Lake as a possible emergency landing site. He was sent to an F-104 star fighter. However, he misjudged his elevation, and did not realize that the landing cog had not fully extended as he touched down. This made the landing gear to pull back. He went toward Nellis Air Force Base while he was attempting to land at Nellis, and while landing, he caught the striking wire close to a fasten chain and careened down the landing strip dragging the chain. He then reported in Edwards, and requested to be picked by someone. Someone by the name Milt Thompson was sent in an F-104B, the only two-seater which was available. However, he was not used to it, and had a lot of difficulties while flying to Nellis. On his way, a strong crosswind made it land hard and blow the main tires. Finally, Bill Dana went to get them in a T-33 shooting star, but he roughly landed wrong. The operations officer at Nellis base then decided that it was best for him to find ground transport for the three NASA pilots to avoid further trouble (Hansen 25). 

 Armstrong was chosen as the first American inhabitant to fly in space. He flew on the Gemini 8 mission where he served as a command pilot. They were to complete the first ever docking with another space craft with the unmanned Agena target vehicle. They never completed the activity. He also served as the only person who directly communicated with the astronauts throughout their mission in space.  Armstrong went on his first tour on service to the Apollo program as a back-up crew of the Apollo8. Later, he was selected as a commander in Apollo 11. It was planned that Buzz Aldrin would be the first to land on the moon, but it was decided he was required to creep over Armstrong so as to reach the hatch. On July 20th 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the moon (Streissguth 53).

 On this Dee day, Armstrong made his line of attack down the stepladder from the astral Lander. The area which was selected for them to land was a bit rough, so he later found a vacant place, and finally landed.  After some hours, he climbed down the step ladder and took the initial step on the moon. People who were watching television all over the world watched Armstrong as he spoke some words and said the small step that a man takes, is one huge jump for mankind. Together with Aldrin, he spent several hours walking on the moon. They set up some experiences, collected samples, and also deposited an American flag. They then left task scrap and medals in remembrance of Russian and American space explorers who died while on duty together with a tablet which they had written when they first landed on the moon on how they peacefully went there representing the mankind. After landing back on earth, they traveled all over the world for gatherings and speeches. Armstrong after the task became a man of the community of new Test Pilots, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He also became a member of the American Astronautical Society (American Association for the Advancement of science 56).

 Armstrong later turned down most of the job opportunities to profit from fame.  He became an administrator with the NASA, and started teaching at Cincinnati University with Aerospace Engineering department, where he also served on two study boards. The first one was after the Apollo 13 incident, and the second board was after the contender bang.  Armstrong now lives from the public eye. He no longer signs the autographs because he realized that people were using his signature while selling their items so as to make thousands of dollars. Others even went to the extent of selling forgeries. He now makes public comments occasionally, and when he deems necessary. He made his most recent statement in early 2010 where he was condemning the president’s plan to call off the constellation program.



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