Anyone with at least a little knowledge of astronomy may know about Neil Armstrong. He was the first person to set foot on the unknown grounds of the moon. He became the hero of astronomy. Also, the hero who gave “one giant leap for mankind.”
Here, I wanted to share some facts about this great astronaut, so the name Neil Armstrong will sound much more recognizable to you.
Here are the 10 interesting facts about Neil Armstrong:
1. Cleveland Air Races was the place where Neil Armstrong first got his love for flying.
His father, Stephen Koeing Armstrong, an ordinary auditor of Ohio state government, took his two-year-old son to the Air Races for the opportunity to give him a new experience. That trip might have awoken the lifelong love for flights in Armstrong.
2. Neil Armstrong flew for the first time in the Tin Goose when he was 6 years old.
Young Armstrong got his first flight experience with his father on the board of Ford Trimotor. The airplane was also known with the name “Tin Goose”.
It seems to me that the father and the son shared the love for flights equally. However, According to Neil Armstrong himself, his father did not have a particular interest in flights.
3. Before reaching the moon with Lunar module Eagle, he earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
Neil Armstrong was very active in the Boy Scouts, which eventually earned him the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award and Silver Buffalo Award. Interestingly, one of the personal belongings he took to the moon was the World Scout Badge. Reportedly, he greeted the Boy Scouts when he was on the way to the moon
4. Neil Armstrong was a military hero before becoming the legendary astronaut.
The burdens of the Korean war touched him too. He was a navy pilot, who completed 78 missions over the skies of Korea. His risky 121 hours of flight during the war earned him Korean service medal, Engagement Star, and 3 Air Medals. One time his aircraft was caught on fire from the enemy’s anti-aircraft weapon in Wonsan, North Korea, but he was able to safely eject himself from the damaged aircraft.
5. He had the nerves of steel
The Korean war and his mission to the moon weren’t the only life-threatening experiences he had. He was the test pilot of several experimental aircraft. In that profession, he performed 900 test flights. He faced even riskier situations during his testing of Lunar Landing Research Vehicles.
On may 6, 1968 Neil Armstrong almost died from flying one of those machines. The video footage proved that if he ejected himself even a half a second late, he wouldn’t have a chance to fly to the moon a year later. The most unbelievable part of this whole situation was that he came to his office to work right after the incident as nothing had happened.
6. Neil Armstrong got his pilot’s license at the age of 16
In one interview, he jokingly mentions that his flying abilities quite surprised the trainers at the navy.
He got his pilot’s license at the youngest age possible, and he performed his first solo flight in grass-fields of Wapakoneta, Ohio.
7. Mission to the moon was the Neil Armstrong’s second mission to Space.
Gemini 8 was his first mission to Space which paved his way towards the moon. In that mission, he was command pilot. He performed successful docking of two vehicles in space.
8. Neil Armstrong’s spoke these words when he took his first step on the moon: “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”
These words turned into the famous line which is regularly associated with the great American success, which was achieved by the Apollo 11 mission. However, there is a speculation. Some believe that Neil Armstrong did not use the article [a] in those historic words. Armstrong himself refuted the claims saying that he had said [a], but somehow it turned out to be inaudible in the recording.
9. Not long after the mission to the moon, Neil Armstrong announced that he did not plan to fly space again.
After retiring from NASA, he became a university professor of Aerospace Engineering at Cincinnati. He was a good teacher, but a tough grader.
10. Neil Armstrong took a part in North Pole Expedition.
As we already know, there are someplace even on earth that is hard to get to. As the person who visited somewhere much far from our planet, Neil Armstrong probably did not want to miss someplace unseen in his home planet. So, in 1985, he joined the North Pole Expedition, which was organized by Mike Dunn.
Armstrong said that main purpose of his trip to the North Pole was to see this ice-covered land mass from the ground, as he already observed it from space.
These are some of the interesting facts about Neil Armstrong. Of course, there are a lot more facts that need to be told about the man whose life is filled with interesting experiences.