|Neil Armstrong: First human on the moon|
"Neil Armstrong was the spiritual repository of spacefaring dreams & ambitions. In death, a little bit of us all dies with him." *
My first hero died today at the age of 82.
As a little boy, all I ever wanted to be was an astronaut. I ravenously devoured every detail of every Apollo mission from Apollo 7 (the first manned mission) onward. When Apollo 8 orbited the moon at Christmastime, 1968, it was then -- and still is now -- one of the greatest thrills of my life and an uplifting end to an awful, awful year. I followed the docking mission of Apollo 9 and the oh-so-close orbit of Apollo 10, running home from school on many of those days to absorb as much of the dazzling story unfolding on my television as I could manage. And then came the summer of 1969.
"'Men Walk On Moon' - The only positive event in the last 50 yrs for which everyone remembers where they were when it happened."
|Apollo 11 Mission Patch|
|The ungainly LEM: a truly ugly/beautiful craft|
|Neil Armstrong stepping off the ladder|
"Apollo 11, July 1969. No other act of human exploration ever laid a plaque saying 'We Come In Peace For All Mankind.'"
|LOOK magazine special issue|
|A teary-eyed Armstrong, post-walk|
I knew this day would come, the day we lost Neil Armstrong (as we have already lost three others of the twelve men to have walked on the moon), but when it happened, today, it hit me harder than I really expected it to.
"Neil A. Armstrong 1930-2012. Farewell my friend. And now, perhaps more than ever, I bid you godspeed."R.I.P. Neil Alden Armstrong. You were my first hero. Thank you for everything.
* All italicized block quotes appearing above are from Neil deGrasse Tyson and appeared in his Twitter feed today.