interesting facts about Neil Armstrong

September 3, 2010 | In: People facts

Neil Armstrong will forever be remembered as the first man on the Moon, but for sheer hair-raising adventure, it probably pales compared to his earlier experiences.

Armstrong, who was born in the little town of Wapakoneta, Ohio, in 1930, became a Navy pilot, flying 78 combat missions from the aircraft carrier USS Essex during the Korean War. On one occasion while flying through a valley, a cable (put there exactly for that purpose) clipped off part of the wing of his jet. He coaxed it back over safe territory and parachuted to safety.

After the war he returned to school and in 1955 received an aeronautical engineering degree from Purdue University, then spent seven years as a test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base in California, where he flew the experimental X-15 plane at about 6,000 kilometers per hour (4,000 miles per hour).

In 1962 Armstrong became the first civilian admitted to the astronaut corps. In March 1966, he commanded the Gemini 8 mission, and began the first successful docking in space. But then, everything went haywire.

After docking with the upper stage of an Agena rocket, Armstrong attempted to maneuver, but a bad thruster caused the spacecraft to tumble crazily. After a wild ride, Armstrong managed to disengage Gemini from the Agena, and, having used 75 percent of the spacecraft’s fuel, was told to return to Earth.

By contrast, the July 20, 1969 Moon landing went right according to plan, except for an overloaded computer during the final seconds. Finally, there was an incredible moment, a dream of the ages fulfilled: a man setting foot on the Moon.

You might also like

Interesting facts about astronauts Astronaut Neil Armstrong first stepped on the moon with his left foot. Approximately 115...
Interesting Moon facts It was not discovered until 1665 that other planets had natural satellites as well, at which point...
Interesting facts about humans A person remains conscious for eight seconds after being decapitated. The strongest muscle in...
Interesting facts about jazz music Just as New Orleans is the home of gumbo, a spicy stew that blends many ethnic foods, so it is also...

Comment Form