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11 Things You Might Not Know About Neil Armstrong

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H/T Mental Floss.

A bit of interesting trivia about Neil Armstrong you may or may not know.

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No matter where private or government space travel may take us in the future, NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong (1930-2012) will forever have a place as the first human to ever set foot on solid ground outside of our atmosphere. Taking “one small step” onto the moon on July 20, 1969, he inspired generations of ambitious people to reach for the stars in their own lives. Take a look at some facts about that famous quote, how a door hinge changed his life, and why he once went after Hallmark over a Christmas ornament.

1. HE KNEW HOW TO FLY BEFORE HE GOT A DRIVER’S LICENSE.

Neil Armstrong poses for a portrait 10 years before the 1969 Apollo mission

NASA/HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

Born August 5, 1930 in Wapakoneta, Ohio, Armstrong became preoccupied with aviation early on. At around age 6, his father took him on a ride in a Ford Trimotor airplane, one of the most popular airplanes in the world. By age 15, he had accumulated enough flying lessons to command a cockpit, reportedly before he ever earned his driver’s license. During the Korean War, Armstrong flew 78 combat missions before moving on to the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the precursor to NASA.

2. HIS FAMOUS QUOTE GETS MISINTERPRETED.

When Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down on the moon, hundreds of millions of television viewers were riveted. Armstrong could be heard saying, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” But that’s not exactly what he said. According to the astronaut, he was fairly sure he stated, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” The “a” may have broken up on transmission or it may have been obscured as a result of his speaking patterns. (According to First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, Armstrong said, “I’m not particularly articulate. Perhaps it was a suppressed sound that didn’t get picked up by the voice mike. As I have listened to it, it doesn’t sound like there was time for the word to be there. On the other hand, I think that reasonable people will realize that I didn’t intentionally make an inane statement, and certainly the ‘a’ was intended, because that’s the only way the statement makes any sense. So I would hope that history would grant me leeway for dropping the syllable and understand that it was certainly intended, even if it wasn’t said—although it actually might have been.”) Armstrong claimed the statement was spontaneous, but his brother and others have claimed he had written it down prior to the mission.

3. WE DON’T HAVE A REALLY GOOD PICTURE OF HIM ON THE MOON.

Buzz Aldrin is seen walking on the moon

NASA/HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

One of the most celebrated human achievements of the 20th century came at a time when video and still cameras were readily available—yet there are precious few images of Armstrong actually walking on the surface of the moon. (One of the most iconic shots, above, is Aldrin; Armstrong only appears as a reflection in his helmet.) The reason, according to Armstrong, is that he really didn’t care and didn’t think to ask Aldrin to snap some photos. “I don’t think Buzz had any reason to take my picture, and it never occurred to me that he should,” Armstrong told his biographer, James R. Hansen. “I have always said that Buzz was the far more photogenic of the crew.”

4. A DOOR HINGE MAY HAVE MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE.

Theories abound as to why it was Armstrong and not Buzz Aldrin who first set foot on the moon. (On the Gemini missions, the co-pilot did the spacewalks, while the commander stayed in the craft. For Apollo 11, Armstrong was the commander.) The answer may have been the simple logistics of getting out of their lunar module. The exit had a right hinge that opened inwardly, with the man sitting on the left (Armstrong) having the most unobstructed path to the outside. Aldrin would have essentially had to climb over Armstrong to get out first.

5. HE WAS MORE CONCERNED ABOUT LANDING ON THE MOON THAN HE WAS WALKING ON IT.

The lunar module that took NASA astronauts to the moon

NASA/HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

The romantic notion of a human stepping foot on space soil captured imaginations, but for Armstrong, it was getting there in one piece that was the real accomplishment. The lunar module Armstrong controlled had to be brought down on the moon’s surface from 50,000 feet up, avoiding rocks, craters, and other obstacles as it jockeyed into a position for landing. Because there is no air resistance, nothing could slow their descent, and they used thrusters to guide the craft down. That meant there was only enough fuel to attempt it once. The “business” of getting down the ladder was, in Armstrong’s view, less significant.

6. HE WAS CARRYING A BAG WORTH $1.8 MILLION.

When Armstrong surveyed the surface of the moon, he collected a bag of dust for NASA scientists to examine. Apollo moon samples are illegal to buy or sell, but that apparently wasn’t the case with the “lunar collection bag” Armstrong used to hold the samples. In 2015, the bag was purchasedby Chicago resident Nancy Lee Carlson from a government auction site for $995. But its sale was, apparently, an accident: When Carlson sent the bag to NASA to confirm its authenticity, NASA said it was their property and refused to send it back—so Carlson took the agency to court. A judge ruled it belonged to Carlson, and in 2017, she sold the bag for a whopping $1.8 million at a Sotheby’s auction.

7. HE HAD TO SPEND THREE WEEKS IN QUARANTINE.

Richard Nixon greets the returning Apollo 11 astronauts

NASA/HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

When Armstrong, Aldrin, and Michael Collins (who remained behind in the command module while the other two touched down on the moon) returned to Earth and were fetched by the USS Hornet, they got a king’s welcome. The only asterisk: They had to bask in their newfound fame from inside a sealed chamber. All three men were quarantined for three weeks in the event they had picked up any strange space virus. When President Richard Nixon visited, he greeted them through the chamber’s glass window.

8. HIS APOLLO SPACE SUIT WAS MADE BY PLAYTEX.

Yes, the undergarment people. In the early 1960s, NASA doled out contract work for their space suits to government suppliers, but it was Playtex (or more properly the International Latex Corporation) and their understanding of fabrics and seams that led to NASA awarding them responsibility for the Apollo mission suits. Their A7L suit was what Armstrong wore to insulate himself against the harsh void of space when he made his famous touchdown. The astronaut called it “reliable” and even “cuddly.”

9. HE BECAME A UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR.

Newil Armstrong sits behind a desk in 1970

AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Following his retirement from NASA in 1971, Armstrong was reticent to remain in the public eye. Demands for his time were everywhere, and he had little ambition to become a walking oral history of his singular achievement. Instead, he accepted a job as a professor of engineering at the University of Cincinnati and remained on the faculty for eight years.

10. HE ONCE SUED HALLMARK.

Hallmark was forced to defend itself when Armstrong took issue with the company using his name and likeness without permission for a 1994 Christmas ornament. The bulb depicted Armstrong and came with a sound chip that said phrases like, “The Eagle has landed.” The two parties came to an undisclosed but “substantial” settlement in 1995, which was, according to First Man, donated to Purdue University (minus legal fees).

11. HE ENDORSED CHRYSLERS.

Armstrong’s preference to lead a private life continued over the decades, but he did make one notable exception. For a 1979 Super Bowl commercial spot, Armstrong agreed to appear on camera endorsing Chrysler automobiles. Armstrong said he did it because he wanted the struggling U.S. car maker to improve their sales and continue contributing to the domestic economy. The ads never mentioned Armstrong was an astronaut.

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12 Days of Waste-mas

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This is from The Daily Signal.

Just think of the waste that could be eliminated if Congress would actually do its job.

 

The Christmas season is on, and shoppers are out in full force. This means nothing for Washington. Here, Santa Claus seems to hand out gifts all year long.

Here are 12 examples of government waste we’ve selected in the spirit of the 12 days of Christmas:

1. NASA spent $237,205 to study how rainfall affects the red crab’s annual migration to Christmas Island. Merry Crab Christmas!

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2. Medicare Part B paid $132.9 million for the same medical supplies for cancer treatment that Medicare Part D paid $22 million to receive. How generous to pay six times for the same supplies!

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3. The United States Postal Service lost or cannot confirm receiving 37 trailers from a leasing company. The United States Postal Service eventually purchased the titles of the missing trailers, which cost the postal service $287,000 for trailers that remain missing. Did anybody check in the garage?

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4. The Defense Department overpaid by $3.3 million for radios for the Afghan army because the Defense Department failed to follow contracting procedures. Roger that.

Military radio control room (1)

5. The federal Drug Enforcement Agency paid an informant working for Amtrak $854,460 over 20 years to disclose passengers’ names. However, the DEA could have received this information for free since the Amtrak Police Department will share this information with other law enforcement agencies.

Union Station, Los Angeles, California, May 2, 2010

6. The National Institutes of Health spent $484,000 to study whether hypnosis can reduce hot flashes in postmenopausal woman and breast cancer survivors. A self-help book entitled “Relief from Hot Flashes” describes a session as “You go to a place in your mind that’s going to cool you off. It’s almost like your body is cooling itself off.”

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7. Federal agencies paid nearly $50 million to the Department of Commerce’s National Technical Information Service for information that is mostly available free online. Senator Tom Coburn, R-Okla.,  introduced the Let Me Google That For you Act to terminate NTIS.

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8. Paralegals at the Patient Trial and Appeal Board were paid$5.1 million over four years as they watched Netflix, shopped online and used social media while on the clock.

Netflix Reports Third Quarter Earnings

9. The Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program provided $400,000 to the liquor lobby, which used part of those funds to transport foreign journalists to different breweries and distilleries in the southeastern United States. Cheers to that!

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10. The Department of Agriculture granted $500,000 to provide start-up materials for butterfly farming to Native Americans in Oklahoma, which included butterfly eggs and vehicles to transport them.

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11. The National Institutes of Health has granted more than$10 million towards the creation of “Escape from Diab,” which is a video game about five children who must get healthy enough to escape from a town full of obese people and their evil king.

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12. Employees at the Environmental Protection Agency used government credit cards to purchase $79,300 worth of “prohibited, improper and erroneous” goods and services. Included in the purchases were gym memberships for EPA employees and their family members, DVDs and academic memberships.

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It is examples like these that show there is plenty of fat in the budget that needs to be trimmed, and Congress has a responsibility to trim it. Federal Spending by the Numbers 2014 includes 51 examples of government waste from which these 12 were selected. The report also reveals key budget trends in charts, tables and key points.

The best gift Congress could give Americans this Christmas season is to address wasteful spending with the right reformsin Congress’ 2015 budget. Uncle Sam’s handouts are not produced by elves at the North Pole but paid for with money taken from hardworking American families.

For more examples of government waste and to learn more about the federal budget, see Heritage’s 2014 edition of Federal Spending by the Numbers.

COLD DIS-COMFORT: ANTARCTICA SET RECORD OF -135.8

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This is from The Big Story.

The author of this article explains the temperature and how

it is a record cold yet it will not be in the record book.

As the Guinness Book of World Records does not accept 

temperatures from satellites only thermometer’s.

Then the author says a scientist from the University  of

 Colorado claims “Just because one spot on Earth has set

records for cold that has little to do with global warming

because it is one spot in one place.”

The standard globull warming bull cookies.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Feeling chilly? Here’s cold comfort: You could be in East Antarctica which new data says set a record for “soul-crushing” cold.

Try 135.8 degrees Fahrenheit below zero; that’s 93.2 degrees below zero Celsius, which sounds only slightly toastier. Better yet, don’t try it. That’s so cold scientists say it hurts to breathe.

A new look at NASA satellite data revealed that Earth set a new record for coldest temperature recorded. It happened in August 2010 when it hit -135.8 degrees. Then on July 31 of this year, it came close again: -135.3 degrees.

The old record had been -128.6 degrees, which is -89.2 degrees Celsius.

Ice scientist Ted Scambos at the National Snow and Ice Data Center said the new record is “50 degrees colder than anything that has ever been seen in Alaska or Siberia or certainly North Dakota.”

“It’s more like you’d see on Mars on a nice summer day in the poles,” Scambos said, from the American Geophysical Union scientific meeting in San Francisco Monday, where he announced the data. “I’m confident that these pockets are the coldest places on Earth.”

However, it won’t be in the Guinness Book of World Records because these were satellite measured, not from thermometers, Scambos said.

“Thank God, I don’t know how exactly it feels,” Scambos said. But he said scientists do routinely make naked 100 degree below zero dashes outside in the South Pole, so people can survive that temperature for about three minutes.

Most of the time researchers need to breathe through a snorkel that brings air into the coat through a sleeve and warms it up “so you don’t inhale by accident” the cold air, Scambos said.

On Monday, the coldest U.S. temperature was a relatively balmy 27 degrees below zero Fahrenheit in Yellowstone, Wyo., said Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the private firm Weather Underground.

“If you want soul-crushing cold, you really have to go overseas,” Scambos said in a phone interview. “It’s just a whole other level of cold because on that cold plateau, conditions are perfect.”

Scambos said the air is dry, the ground chilly, the skies cloudless and cold air swoops down off a dome and gets trapped in a chilly lower spot “hugging the surface and sliding around.”

Just because one spot on Earth has set records for cold that has little to do with global warming because it is one spot in one place, said Waleed Abdalati, an ice scientist at the University of Colorado and NASA’s former chief scientist. Both Abdalati, who wasn’t part of the measurement team, and Scambos said this is likely an unusual random reading in a place that hasn’t been measured much before and could have been colder or hotter in the past and we wouldn’t know.

“It does speak to the range of conditions on this Earth, some of which we haven’t been able to observe,” Abdalati said.

___

Online: American Geophysical Union: http://fallmeeting.agu.org/2013/

WHAT ENVIRONMENTALISM REALLY MEANS

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This is from Patriot Update.

We are going to have the radical agenda shoved down our throats.

I shudder to think of the regulations that will be passed to save the environment.

How many businesses will be forced to close because of this radical agenda?

How high will the cost of energy become because of the tree huggers?

 

Stand by America—the environmentalists are coming.  Radical environmentalists are practically gleeful over Barack Obama’s re-election because they now have four more years to advance their anti-business, anti-people agenda.  To understand how far modern environmentalists have strayed from the origins of their own movement, consider the definition of “environmentalism”provided by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: “Advocacy of the preservation, restoration, or improvement of the natural environment; especially the movement to control pollution.”  If this definition were an accurate reflection of modern environmentalism, the concept would not be so controversial.  However, because of the excesses of so-called environmentalists, Merriam-Webster’s definition more accurately describes people who prefer to be known as conservationists or, even, responsible developers. Conservationists and responsible developers are both interested in maintaining the beauty and integrity of the natural environment—the former for man’s enjoyment and the latter because doing so is good business.

The modern environmentalism movement, on the other hand, is a confederation of earth worshippers, animal rights advocates, abortionists, anti-technology Luddites, and various other factions of the radical left.  It is most accurately viewed as a denomination within the broader religion of secular humanism.  The various factions of the environmentalism movement all have different agendas, but the glue that holds them together is their common enemy: mankind.  In reality, the modern environmentalism movement has become an umbrella organization under which all left-wing groups who regard human beings as the enemy can plant their flags.  Like all members of the radical left, environmentalists view human beings as entities to be controlled and manipulated by an all-powerful civil government.

Environmentalists try to portray their movement as an ideology concerned only with the health of the environment and the protection of the non-human elements in it.  But in reality, it is an anti-mankind movement that sees man as the enemy of all things on earth.  Consequently, environmentalists hope to use the ballot box to force their secular religion—which is what environmentalism really is—on all Americans.  This is one of many examples that demonstrate the left’s adherence to the maxim that might makes right, provided, of course, that they have the might.  But does it?

In her book, Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial RevolutionAyn Rand has this to say about environmentalism as an ideology: “The nature of an ideology is not determined by majority vote—but by logic…even if various environmentalists…would deny this…The full implications of an ideology’s central principle are often evaded by its adherents.”  What Rand is saying is that: 1) environmentalists want to force their views on society by controlling the civil government because they cannot persuade people on the basis of logic or economics, and 2) that the left conveniently ignores the illogic of its own views.

Environmentalists often go to such extremes that they are occasionally referred to by detractors as “wackos.”  Unfortunately, they sometimes earn this disparaging label.  For example, consider the case of the space-alien study completed by researchers at Pennsylvania State University. Writing for The Washington TimesJeffrey T. Kuhner commented on this study:  “Unbelievably the study is not a joke, although global laughter prompted its authors to insist it was meant to be.  In their report, ‘Would Contact With Extraterrestrials Benefit or Harm Humanity? A Scenario Analysis’ Shawn Domagal-Goldman of NASA’s Planetary Science Division and his colleagues discuss the possible outcomes of a close encounter between aliens and humans.  One of their likely scenarios is that extraterrestrial-intelligence (ETI) contact with humanity may compel space aliens to wipe us out.  Why? In order to save the galaxy from a capitalist, industrial, polluting civilization that is ravaging Earth’s environment and emitting greenhouse gases that will doom the planet.”

It would be tempting to simply laugh off the views expressed by these NASA environmentalists as so much foolishness, but the reader should not overlook the hatred of mankind, industrialization, and capitalism expressed in their comments.  As is often the case with environmentalists, the views of these NASA scientists can be summarized as follows: The world would be a great place if it weren’t for all of these people.

Read more: http://patriotupdate.com/articles/what-environmentalism-really-means#ixzz2DYy3pecw

 

Neil Armstrong, 1st man on the moon, dies

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This is from Yahoo News.

I was fifteen when Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon.

I have never been prouder to be an American.

We need to have that pride once more.

We need to go back to the moon.

We lost a great American.

FILE - In undated photo provided by NASA shows Neil Armstrong. The family of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, says he has died at age 82. A statement from the family says he died following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures. It doesn't say where he died. Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon July 20, 1969. He radioed back to Earth the historic news of "one giant leap for mankind." Armstrong and fellow astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin spent nearly three hours walking on the moon, collecting samples, conducting experiments and taking photographs. In all, 12 Americans walked on the moon from 1969 to 1972. (AP Photo/NASA)

CINCINNATI (AP) — Neil Armstrong was a quiet self-described nerdy engineer who became a global hero when as a steely-nerved pilot he made “one giant leap for mankind” with a small step on to the moon. The modest man who had people on Earth entranced and awed from almost a quarter million miles away has died. He was 82.

Armstrong died following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures, a statement Saturday from his family said. It didn’t say where he died.

Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon July 20, 1969, capping the most daring of the 20th century’s scientific expeditions. His first words after setting foot on the surface are etched in history books and the memories of those who heard them in a live broadcast.

“That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind,” Armstrong said.

In those first few moments on the moon, during the climax of heated space race with the then-Soviet Union, Armstrong stopped in what he called “a tender moment” and left a patch commemorate NASA astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts who had died in action.

“It was special and memorable but it was only instantaneous because there was work to do,” Armstrong told an Australian television interviewer this year.

Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin spent nearly three hours walking on the lunar surface, collecting samples, conducting experiments and taking photographs.

“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 Oct. 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.”

A man who kept away from cameras, Armstrong went public in 2010 with his concerns about President Barack Obama’s space policy that shifted attention away from a return to the moon and emphasized private companies developing spaceships. He testified before Congress and in an email to The Associated Press, Armstrong said he had “substantial reservations,” and along with more than two dozen Apollo-era veterans, he signed a letter calling the plan a “misguided proposal that forces NASA out of human space operations for the foreseeable future.”

Armstrong’s modesty and self-effacing manner never faded.

When he appeared in Dayton in 2003 to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of powered flight, he bounded onto a stage before 10,000 people packed into a baseball stadium. But he spoke for only a few seconds, did not mention the moon, and quickly ducked out of the spotlight.

He later joined former astronaut and Sen. John Glenn to lay wreaths on the graves of Wilbur and Orville Wright. Glenn introduced Armstrong and noted it was 34 years to the day that Armstrong had walked on the moon.

“Thank you, John. Thirty-four years?” Armstrong quipped, as if he hadn’t given it a thought.

At another joint appearance, the two embraced and Glenn commented: “To this day, he’s the one person on Earth, I’m truly, truly envious of.”

Armstrong’s moonwalk capped a series of accomplishments that included piloting the X-15 rocket plane and making the first space docking during the Gemini 8 mission, which included a successful emergency splashdown.

In the years afterward, Armstrong retreated to the quiet of the classroom and his southwest Ohio farm. Aldrin said in his book “Men from Earth” that Armstrong was one of the quietest, most private men he had ever met.

In the Australian interview, Armstrong acknowledged that “now and then I miss the excitement about being in the cockpit of an airplane and doing new things.”

At the time of the flight’s 40th anniversary, Armstrong again was low-key, telling a gathering that the space race was “the ultimate peaceful competition: USA versus U.S.S.R. It did allow both sides to take the high road with the objectives of science and learning and exploration.”

Glenn, who went through jungle training in Panama with Armstrong as part of the astronaut program, described him as “exceptionally brilliant” with technical matters but “rather retiring, doesn’t like to be thrust into the limelight much.”

Derek Elliott, curator of the Smithsonian Institution’s U.S. Air and Space Museum from 1982 to 1992, said the moonwalk probably marked the high point of space exploration.

The manned lunar landing was a boon to the prestige of the United States, which had been locked in a space race with the former Soviet Union, and re-established U.S. pre-eminence in science and technology, Elliott said.

“The fact that we were able to see it and be a part of it means that we are in our own way witnesses to history,” he said.

The 1969 landing met an audacious deadline that President Kennedy had set in May 1961, shortly after Alan Shepard became the first American in space with a 15-minute suborbital flight. (Soviet cosmonaut Yuri A. Gagarin had orbited the Earth and beaten the U.S. into space the previous month.)

“I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth,” Kennedy had said. “No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important to the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.”

The end-of-decade goal was met with more than five months to spare. “Houston: Tranquility Base here,” Armstrong radioed after the spacecraft settled onto the moon. “The Eagle has landed.”

“Roger, Tranquility,” the Houston staffer radioed back. “We copy you on the ground. You’ve got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We’re breathing again. Thanks a lot.”

The third astronaut on the mission, Michael Collins, circled the moon in the mother ship Columbia 60 miles overhead while Armstrong and Aldrin went to the moon’s surface.

In all, 12 American astronauts walked on the moon between 1969 and the last moon mission in 1972.

For Americans, reaching the moon provided uplift and respite from the Vietnam War, from strife in the Middle East, from the startling news just a few days earlier that a young woman had drowned in a car driven off a wooden bridge on Chappaquiddick Island by Sen. Edward Kennedy. The landing occurred as organizers were gearing up for Woodstock, the legendary three-day rock festival on a farm in the Catskills of New York.

Armstrong was born Aug. 5, 1930, on a farm near Wapakoneta in western Ohio. He took his first airplane ride at age 6 and developed a fascination with aviation that prompted him to build model airplanes and conduct experiments in a homemade wind tunnel.

As a boy, he worked at a pharmacy and took flying lessons. He was licensed to fly at 16, before he got his driver’s license.

Armstrong enrolled in Purdue University to study aeronautical engineering but was called to duty with the U.S. Navy in 1949 and flew 78 combat missions in Korea.

After the war, Armstrong finished his degree from Purdue and later earned a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California. He became a test pilot with what evolved into the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, flying more than 200 kinds of aircraft from gliders to jets.

Armstrong was accepted into NASA’s second astronaut class in 1962 — the first, including Glenn, was chosen in 1959 — and commanded the Gemini 8 mission in 1966. After the first space docking, he brought the capsule back in an emergency landing in the Pacific Ocean when a wildly firing thruster kicked it out of orbit.

Armstrong was backup commander for the historic Apollo 8 mission at Christmastime in 1968. In that flight, Commander Frank Borman, and Jim Lovell and Bill Anders circled the moon 10 times, and paving the way for the lunar landing seven months later.

Aldrin said he and Armstrong were not prone to free exchanges of sentiment.

“But there was that moment on the moon, a brief moment, in which we sort of looked at each other and slapped each other on the shoulder … and said, ‘We made it. Good show,’ or something like that,” Aldrin said.

An estimated 600 million people — a fifth of the world’s population — watched and listened to the landing, the largest audience for any single event in history.

Parents huddled with their children in front of the family television, mesmerized by what they were witnessing. Farmers abandoned their nightly milking duties, and motorists pulled off the highway and checked into motels just to see the moonwalk.

Television-less campers in California ran to their cars to catch the word on the radio. Boy Scouts at a camp in Michigan watched on a generator-powered television supplied by a parent.

Afterward, people walked out of their homes and gazed at the moon, in awe of what they had just seen. Others peeked through telescopes in hopes of spotting the astronauts.

In Wapakoneta, media and souvenir frenzy was swirling around the home of Armstrong’s parents.

“You couldn’t see the house for the news media,” recalled John Zwez, former manager of the Neil Armstrong Air and Space Museum. “People were pulling grass out of their front yard.”

Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins were given ticker tape parades in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles and later made a 22-nation world tour. A homecoming in Wapakoneta drew 50,000 people to the city of 9,000.

In 1970, Armstrong was appointed deputy associate administrator for aeronautics at NASA but left the following year to teach aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati.

He remained there until 1979 and during that time bought a 310-acre farm near Lebanon, where he raised cattle and corn. He stayed out of public view, accepting few requests for interviews or speeches.

“He didn’t give interviews, but he wasn’t a strange person or hard to talk to,” said Ron Huston, a colleague at the University of Cincinnati. “He just didn’t like being a novelty.”

Those who knew him said he enjoyed golfing with friends, was active in the local YMCA and frequently ate lunch at the same restaurant in Lebanon.

In 2000, when he agreed to announce the top 20 engineering achievements of the 20th century as voted by the National Academy of Engineering, Armstrong said there was one disappointment relating to his moonwalk.

“I can honestly say — and it’s a big surprise to me — that I have never had a dream about being on the moon,” he said.

From 1982 to 1992, Armstrong was chairman of Charlottesville, Va.-based Computing Technologies for Aviation Inc., a company that supplies computer information management systems for business aircraft.

He then became chairman of AIL Systems Inc., an electronic systems company in Deer Park, N.Y.

Armstrong married Carol Knight in 1999, and the couple lived in Indian Hill, a Cincinnati suburb. He had two adult sons from a previous marriage.

At the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles on Saturday, visitors held a minute of silence in memory of Armstrong.

 

Sally Ride, first US woman in space, dies at 61

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This is from The Boston Herald.

Young girls and women have lost a true heroine.

Sally was someone to be looked up to and be like.

LOS ANGELES—Space used to be a man’s world. Then came Sally Ride, who blazed a cosmic trail for U.S. women into orbit. With a pitch perfect name out of a pop song refrain, she joined the select club of American space heroes the public knew by heart: Shepard, Glenn, Armstrong and Aldrin.

Ride, the first American woman in orbit, died Monday at her home in the San Diego community of La Jolla at age 61. The cause was pancreatic cancer, an illness she had for 17 months, according to her company, Sally Ride Science.

Ride rode into space on the space shuttle Challenger on June 18, 1983, when she was 32. Since then, 42 other American women flew in space.

“Sally was a national hero and a powerful role model. She inspired generations of young girls to reach for the stars,” President Barack Obama said in a statement.

When shuttles started flying frequently with crews of six or seven, astronauts became plentiful and anonymous. Not Ride.

“People around the world still recognize her name as the first American woman in space, and she took that title seriously even after departing NASA,” Eileen Collins, the first female space shuttle commander, said in a statement. “She never sought media attention for herself, but rather focused on doing her normally outstanding job.”

When Ride first launched into space, feminist icons such as Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda were at Kennedy Space Center and many wore T-shirts alluding to the pop song with the refrain of the same name: “Ride, Sally Ride.”

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, a former astronaut, said Ride “broke barriers with grace and professionalism — and literally changed the face of America’s space program.”

“The nation has lost one of its finest leaders, teachers and explorers,” he said in a statement.

Ride was a physicist, writer of five science books for children and president of her own company, which motivates youngsters to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math. She had also been a professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego.

In 1978, NASA included women in the astronaut corps, selecting Ride and five other women to join the club, which had been dominated by male military test pilots. Ride beat out fellow astronaut candidates to be the first American female in space. Her first flight came two decades after the Soviets sent a woman into space. A second Soviet woman flew in space in 1982.

“On launch day, there was so much excitement and so much happening around us in crew quarters, even on the way to the launch pad,” Ride recalled in a NASA interview for the 25th anniversary of her flight in 2008. “I didn’t really think about it that much at the time — but I came to appreciate what an honor it was to be selected to be the first to get a chance to go into space.”

Ride flew in space twice, both times on Challenger, in 1983 and on October 5, 1984, logging 343 hours in space. A third flight was cancelled when Challenger exploded in 1986. She was on the commission investigating that accident and later served on the panel for the 2003 Columbia shuttle accident, the only person on both boards. She also was on the president’s committee of science advisers.

The 20th anniversary of her first flight also coincided with the loss of Columbia, a bittersweet time for Ride, who discussed it in a 2003 interview with The Associated Press. She acknowledged it was depressing to spend the anniversary investigating the accident, which killed seven astronauts.

“But in another sense, it’s rewarding because it’s an opportunity to be part of the solution and part of the changes that will occur and will make the program better,” she said.

Later in the interview, she focused on science education and talked about “being a role model and being very visible.”

“She was very smart,” said former astronaut Norman Thagard, who was on Ride’s first flight. “We did have a good time.”

It was all work on that first flight, except for a first-in-space sprint around the inside of the shuttle, Thagard recalled in a phone interview Monday. He didn’t know who won.

Born on May 26, 1951, in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, Ride became fascinated with science early on, playing with a chemistry kit and telescope. She also excelled in tennis and competed in national junior tournaments.

She earned bachelor’s degrees in physics and English from Stanford University in 1973 and a master’s in 1975. She was studying for a Ph.D. when she saw an ad in the student newspaper calling for scientists and engineers to apply to become astronauts. She was chosen in 1978, the same year she earned her doctorate in physics from Stanford.

Ride was married to fellow astronaut Steve Hawley from 1982 to 1987. Hawley said Ride was never fully comfortable being in the spotlight.

“While she never enjoyed being a celebrity, she recognized that it gave her the opportunity to encourage children, particularly young girls, to reach their full potential,” Hawley said in a statement released by NASA.

One of Ride’s last legacies was allowing middle school students to take their own pictures of the moon using cameras aboard NASA’s twin Grail spacecraft in a project spearheaded by her company.

“Sally literally could have done anything with her life. She decided to devote her life to education and to inspiring young people. To me, that’s such a powerful thing. It’s extraordinarily admirable,” said Maria Zuber, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who heads the Grail mission.

Ride’s office said she is survived by Tam O’Shaughnessy, her partner of 27 years and a co-founder of Sally Ride Science; her mother, Joyce; her sister, Bear, a niece; and a nephew.

 

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