Neil Armstrong : First Step on Moon ; Last Step on Earth

Flag of the United States on American astronau...

Flag of the United States on American astronaut Neil Armstrong’s space suit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           AUGUST 31 , 2012           07.30 P.M.

It was July 20 , 1969 . I had passed intermediate from the Government Inter College , Allahabad and then took admission in the University of Allahabad in B. A.

In the morning , I woke up and as per my habit glanced at the newspapers . All the newspapers were full of the photos of Apollo 11 and the minutest details of  the Moon Mission . I saw the pictures of a man standing on the surface of the moon and unfurling American flag . This photo got etched in my memory box permanently . I came to know that this first man on the moon is called Neil Armstrong .

Apollo 11 Patch

Apollo 11 Patch (Photo credit: gregw66)

Apollo 11 was the spaceflight which landed first humans on the moon . Neil Armstrong became the first to land on the moon surface and Buzz Aldrin was the second . They stayed for the 2.30 hours on the moon . Third member of the  Moon Mission , Michael Collins remained in the lunar orbit . After 8 days of space mission all the three astronauts safely returned to earth .

Apollo 11 was the 5th manned mission in the Apollo programme of NASA .

The Apollo 11 crew portrait. Left to right are...

The Apollo 11 crew portrait. Left to right are Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was epoch-making historical event . Never ever we thought that one day in our lives we would be able to witness this kind of moment . A man on moon was an unimaginable and unthinkable event . Neil Armstrong was the first to land on the lunar surface , so naturally he became the hero of our generation .

Born as Neil Alden Armstrong on August 05 , 1930 in Ohio , U.S. , he was an US Navy officer and also served in the Korean War . In 1962 he joined NASA Astronaut Corp .

His first spaceflight was the NASA Gemini 8 mission in 1966, for which he was the command pilot, becoming one of the first U.S. civilians in space. On this mission, he performed the first manned docking of two spacecraft with pilot David Scott.

Armstrong’s second and last spaceflight was as mission commander of the Apollo 11 moon landing in July 1969.

Armstrong was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Richard Nixon along with Collins and Aldrin, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor by President Jimmy Carter in 1978, and the Congressional Gold Medal with his former crewmates in 2009.

Armstrong died in Cincinnati, Ohio, on August 25, 2012, at the age of 82 due to complications from blocked coronary arteries.

With his death a gigantic figure of my growing years is gone forever . It is sad , though inevitable . This ephemeral world is not a perennial abode of anyone . But fading away of my childhood icons one by one is heart – wrenching .

Farewell Mr. Armstrong !

May your last steps on this terra firma be the first step on some other unknown planet .

Rest In Peace gentleman !




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