Neil Armstrong was born on August 5, 1930 in Wapakoneta, Ohio. His father, Stephan Armstrong, worked for the government. Neil moved to a total of sixteen different towns during his father’s political career. Although he moved several times, he was an active member of the Boy Scouts, and earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
Neil Armstrong went to collage at Perdue University, where he earned a Bachelor Degree for Science in 1955. He enrolled in the United States Navy to pay for his last two years of collage and received a Master Degree in Science. In Perdue University, Neil met Janet Elizabeth Shearon, who became his wife in 1956.
While in the Navy, Neil Armstrong was sent to Korea in 1951 for about a year and a half. During this time, he went on 78 air missions. He received an Air Medal for his first 20 missions, and then he received a gold star for his following 20 missions, a Korean Service Medal, and an Engagement Star.
After the Navy, Neil Armstrong applied to become a test pilot, but mainly a research pilot, at Edwards Air Force Base. At Edward’s there were no positions available, so he was sent to Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory. About 5 months later, a position at Edward’s opened up and Neil Armstrong was accepted.
A few years later, Neil Armstrong sent in his application to NASA to become an astronaut. In 1962, Neil was accepted.
His first job with NASA was Gemini 5, in 1965. In this mission he was a back up command pilot. This was an eight day mission to orbit the moon.
His second mission was Gemini 8, in 1966. He was command pilot in this mission. This mission had two objectives, To accomplish an in-orbit docking, and To extend extra vehicular activity. The first major objective was reached, but the crew failed to accomplish the second objective.
Neil’s third mission was Gemini 11, in 1969. He was a back up pilot in Gemini 11. This mission was basically a simulation of the new Apollo.
Neil Armstrong’s forth and final mission was the Apollo 11 moon landing, in 1969. This was the first trip to land and explore on another planet. The Apollo 11 actually landed a few miles away from the designated landing spot. Being a test pilot, Neil wasn’t worried. As long as the craft landed instead of crashing, all was good. As soon as the craft landed, the first words over the radio were spoken by Neil Armstrong, “Houston, Tranquility Base here, The Eagle has landed.” Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped out onto the ground of the moon. After the first steps were taken, the excited Neil said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Although he meant to say a man, he was too excited and left out the word a. After landing on the moon, Neil and Buzz explored the surface while Michael Collins orbited above.
Written by Kathrine Franklin
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