“I believe that every human has a finite number of heartbeats. I don’t intend to waste any of mine“. The rules of life for astronaut Neil Armstrong, “that guy from the moon”
A young man with a slightly naive expression on his face and defocused gaze, astronaut of NASA Neil Armstrong — a handsome man and a favorite of women around the world — was charming, witty and judgmental about himself.
“I am often asked why from our landing on the moon we brought so many pictures of Buzz Aldrin and so few of mine. Well, apparently, he looks much more photogenic in a spacesuit,” Neal told reporters shortly after the landing on Earth’s satellite.In 1969, he became the first person to set foot on the moon. It cemented him the title of one of the most significant and famous people in the Universe. It is believed that the prophet Nostradamus wrote about Armstrong and his flight to the moon in his quatrains — he called the American a lion.
Neil Armstrong really was a Leo by horoscope — he was born on 5th of August, 1930 in a small town in Ohio. By the way, the Wright brothers, who designed the plane, were also from this state, which greatly flattered the future astronaut. They say that Armstrong took over the helm of the plane earlier than the wheel of a car.
He was always an enterprising boy — an active boy scout, later — a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as Purdue University. The last university he chose is the best choice for future specialists in aviation technology.
Perhaps I was less excited than most people who watched the landing from Earth
While serving in the US Navy, he was a midshipman, a test pilot, and a participant in the Korean War. Armstrong has 78 sorties in the Grumman F9F Panther fighter-bomber. He was even hit once, but he survived.
Armstrong could have become the world’s first astronaut, but he missed this opportunity, not showing the result he needed for the flight. However, he was lucky enough to become one of 20 people who were entrusted with testing the X-15 suborbital aircraft.
Some of the flights of this hypersonic unit were classified as space flights, and it is also known for several flight records. It was then, when Neil Armstrong earned the nickname Ice Commander among his colleagues.
Armstrong’s sense of purpose convinced him to leave the X-15 program without regret and receive the NASA astronaut patch in a few months.
In July 1969, he already commanded the crew of the Apollo 11 spacecraft, whose main task was to land on the moon. In the name of this important mission, 400,000 people “earthly staff” worked: developers, testers, engineers and programmers.
“I think we’re going to the moon because it’s in the nature of the human being to face challenges. It’s by the nature of his deep inner soul… we’re required to do these things just as salmon swim upstream,” Neil Armstrong said about his important task.
Pilots take no special joy in walking: pilots like flying. Pilots generally take pride in a good landing, not in getting out of the vehicle.
He put his left boot on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969 at 02:56 UTC, after which he said the legendary phrase, “This is one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. It was the first and yhe last spacewalk for an astronaut.
He spent about two and a half hours on the lunar surface. Together with Buzz Aldrin, he photographed the landscape, collected soil samples, jumped, experiencing the lunar attraction unusual for any earthling.
“Walking on the lunar surface was very interesting, but it was something that we looked at as something safe and predictable enough. That is, a feeling of excitement accompanied the landing, but not the walk,” said Armstrong.
The third crew member, Michael Collins, was waiting for his colleagues on the ship.
“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small”. This touching confession of the Ice Commander entered the annals of the history of astronautics.
To understand what an important mission Armstrong had, it is worth reading President Richard Nixon’s message to the American nation, prepared by his speechwriter a month before being sent to the moon.
“Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace”, Nixon had to say in a deplorable voice on the country’s main channels.
Armstrong and Aldrin risked their lives the most. In the event of any emergency on the Earth satellite, Collins, who was in Apollo 11 had to return home without colleagues. Fortunately, this speech was not useful.
Neil Armstrong lived a bright and interesting life — he taught, met with young people, talked with the widow of the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, and even went on an expedition to the North Pole in 1985.
“I believe that every human has a finite number of heartbeats. I don’t intend to waste any of mine”, this statement was the leitmotif of his entire life.
He loved the sky until his very last breath, but after that legendary flight, he no longer wanted to associate his life with NASA, so as not to be associated only with the lunar mission. Did he regret it? Maybe.
“I don’t like that most people know me as that guy from the moon”, said Neil Armstrong. “It seems to me that all of us deep inside want to be honored not for some bright flashes of our biography, but for the sum of everything that has been done, created and said”.