Neil Armstrong, First Man On The Moon, Dies Aged 82 (1930-2012)
By Srinivas Laxman | Top News
August 28, 2012
The first man to step on the surface of moon, 82-year-old Neil Armstrong, passed away on Saturday.
AsianScientist (Aug. 28, 2012) – The first man to step on the surface of moon, 82-year-old Neil Armstrong, passed away on Saturday.
Armstrong had “complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures,” according to a statement by his family, after undergoing heart bypass surgery this month in the United States.
In his long and illustrious career as a NASA astronaut, Armstrong made many trips to Asia, visiting both China and India as part of a NASA delegation.
Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins – the three crew members of Apollo 11 – visited Mumbai, India on October 26 and 27, 1969, which was their 19th port of call of their 38-day, 28 city global tour. They held a public meeting and visited the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) where they met several top Indian space and nuclear scientists.
The NASA crew also visited Thailand, before Armstrong made a solo trip to Vietnam where he interacted with U.S. troops stationed there.
Armstrong traveled to China in 1988, during which he visited the China Aerospace Medical Engineering Institute which has now become the China Astronaut Research and Training Center.
Long Lehao, 75, the chief designer of the Long March series of rockets, told China Daily in an interview on Sunday that Armstrong’s remarks during his Chinese visit had evoked mixed feelings in him. Armstrong said “that the first person to dream about landing on the moon was a Chinese, Chang’e, a fairy in an ancient Chinese story, while the first person to make the landing was an American.”
The Chinese have named their lunar mission after the Chinese goddess of the moon, Chang’e (嫦娥). Long said that he was marveled by Armstrong’s landing on the moon on July 20, 1969.
“At that time the landing really was a rare achievement,” Long was quoted as saying in China Daily.
Many years later, Armstrong returned to Mumbai in November 1995 to launch a mobile telephone service. When this correspondent approached Armstrong at the airport after he landed, all Armstrong said was that he was happy to return to Mumbai. He then autographed a book held out by this correspondent.
The next day Armstrong gave a press conference and addressed a group of several leading Mumbaikars. Later that evening he said that he would only interact with children, give them autographs, and pose for photographs with them.
Unlike Apollo 11 crewmate Buzz Aldrin, the notoriously private Armstrong seldom made public appearances.
During a recent visit to Australia in 2011, he gave an exclusive interview to the Australian Certified Practicing Accountants (CPA) as part of CPA’s 125th anniversary celebrations.
Armstrong’s moon walk and his famous quote: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” will go down in history as one of the most iconic moments of the twentieth century.
Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine; Photo: MPI/Getty Images.
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