August 26, 2012

The Life of Neil Armstrong: "Those slopes are steep, the rocks are very large....

The Boilermaker, Neil Armstrong by Brokenmouse

"In the end Neil Armstrong's greatest gift to us could be his silence."

"It has been said that ten thousand years from now, only one name will still be remembered - that of Neil Armstrong. But in the four decades since he first set foot on the moon, Armstrong has become increasingly reclusive.
"Andrew Smith, author of the best-selling book Moondust, journeys across America to try and discover the real Neil Armstrong. He tracks down the people who knew Armstrong, from his closest childhood friend to fellow astronauts and Houston technicians, and even the barber who sold his hair, in a wry and sideways look at the reluctant hero of the greatest event of the twentieth century."

UPDATE: Belmont Club contributes this interview with Armstrong: A short time before he died, Neil Armstrong gave a presentation in Australia matching the footage of his landing on the moon against a modern Google map of the moon. Anyone who has any doubts that the moon landing was real should watch it

"Those slopes are steep, the rocks are very large -- the size of automobiles," he told Alex Malley, CEO of accounting firm CPA Australia, narrating over a Google Moon version of the landing.

"It's certainly not a place where I want to land, so I took over manually from the computer, the auto-pilot. Like a helicopter, on out to the west, to try to find a smoother, more level landing spot."

Footage shows Commander Armstrong spots a smooth spot other side of crater.

"I'm running low on fuel. I've got less than two minutes of fuel," he told Malley.

The actual footage shows Eagle's rocket engine starting to kick up moon dust. Then a 30-second fuel warning pings.

"I need to get it down here on the ground pretty soon, before we run out," Armstrong said.

Then a light thump, followed by the immortal words: "Tranquility to base here. The Eagle has landed."

-- Legendary moonwalker Neil Armstrong narrates his own moon landing

Posted by gerardvanderleun at August 26, 2012 12:44 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Any mention of his years with Buffalo Springfield?

Posted by: Everyman at August 26, 2012 1:38 PM

Hidden in the story of the first man on the moon, who incidentally was also Mission Commander, has been discussion of why Neil Armstrong was selected for that honor. Sometimes it is presented as something that just happened. We know that there were many Astronauts who were more public than Neil Armstrong; who would have clearly presented a more well defined image of NASA . We know that they were all capable men. Yet, in this intensely competitive environment, sheer competence was clearly the governing criterion. This quiet, humble man was selected number one. One can only wonder what internal debates may have occurred between the Operational and the Public Relations sides of NASA. In the end Armstrong was the choice to be the trail blazer. It was not accidental, and that should not be overlooked. The term "First Among Equals" could apply. Of all of that august company he was the "First".

I admired Armstrong's accomplishments. Even more, I admired that fact that he did not let those accomplishments, and the attendant fame, change him. To me, this private man was an Iconic American hero.

Posted by: Oldflyer at August 26, 2012 1:46 PM

I agree. There is something brilliant about a great, yet humble, man. It stirs something in the heart, to know of such a man. I think it is pride.

Posted by: Leslie at August 26, 2012 4:27 PM

Neil Armstrong was all that is man. I fear hope of manned space missions from America at least died with him, sadly.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at August 26, 2012 7:18 PM

I was in grad school at Purdue when he landed on the moon. I watched it with my oldest daughter on an old 19 in Sylvania black & white tv. Took all night. She was asleep at the end. Picture was awful. Cronkite was even worse (as usual).

The landing was the highlight of my life. I had watched every televised Mercury, Gemini and Apollo launch and landing and watched the remaining Apollo shots and many Shuttle shots.

I am surprised how deeply I feel his death. It seems like America itself has died. The future was so bright then, so dark now.

Posted by: bob sykes at August 27, 2012 4:23 AM

I, too, was at Purdue for summer school, one block off campus from the student union on Pierce St. I watched on my roommates 12" B&W television, the only set in the apartment, and took a picture of the screen with my Gramps 35mm to insure I had a record.
Neil Armstrong was the Lindbergh of our era, but went Lindy one better. Instead of soaking up the limelight, for his accomplishment of being the first man to land an aircraft on the surface of the moon, and then the 1st to climb down a ladder{much easier...}, he chose to put himself as a representative of mankind. He also did not use his notoriety for personal gain nor power.
He was a real man.
requesiat in pacem

Posted by: tomw at August 31, 2012 10:20 AM