Earlier today the world was shocked by the sudden death of Neil Armstrong. The man who captured our imagination 43 years ago passed away
following surgical complications and reminded us that fame does not negate mortality.
Armstrong was a talented pilot and engineer who is best remembered for being the rst man to walk on the moon and for uttering the infamous line,
“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
He was characterised by his down-to-Earth nature (pardon the pun) and level-headedness, fully aware of the monumental role he had fullled in human
history but not letting the fame get to him – in fact, his lack of ego was supposedly a factor in NASA making the decision to let him be the first one to exit the Lunar Module.
Armstrong’s ability to think quickly on his feet was extremely fortuitous because the landing was not without its problems – they overshot the planned
landing area and had to find somewhere else suitable without damaging the module and with a strict fuel-related deadline – but he managed to pull it off, and as a result has gone down in history as one of our finest pioneers.
Following his death, his family released the following statement:
“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honour his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”
Neil Armstrong’s accomplishments have ushered our world ever further into the already burgeoning space age, and it goes without saying that what he accomplished on behalf of our species will never be forgotten.