"I believe every human has a finite number of heartbeats. I don't intend to waste any of mine."
Neil Alden Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the surface of the moon, once said, "I believe every human has a finite number of heartbeats. I don't intend to waste any of mine." Sadly, Armstrong died on August 25th at the age of 82 as a result of complications from heart surgery.
Neil Armstrong could fly airplanes before he could legally drive, earning his flight certificate at the age of fifteen. His love of flying led to three years as a navy pilot and later a college degree in aerospace engineering. In 1955 he began working as a research test pilot. In 1962, he was selected as a pilot consultant for the U.S. Air Force's Man In Space Soonest program. Later that year, he became one of two civilian pilots included in the second group of men chosen for astronaut training.
" . . . Tranquility base here. The Eagle has landed. . . "
On July 20th, 1969, the world watched and listened as Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong, along with fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin, landed on the moon.
". . . That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
Over 600 million people watched that event on television, and hundreds of millions others listened on the radio.
In a statement released at the time of Armstrong’s death, fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin wrote that “Whenever I look at the moon, I am reminded of that precious moment, over four decades ago, when Neil and I stood on the desolate, barren, yet beautiful, Sea of Tranquility, looking back at our brilliant blue planet Earth suspended in the darkness of space, [and] I realized that even though we were farther away from earth than two humans had ever been, we were not alone. Virtually the entire world took that memorable journey with us. I know I am joined by many millions of others from around the world in mourning the passing of a true American hero and the best pilot I ever knew. My friend Neil took the small step but giant leap that changed the world and will forever be remembered as a historic moment in human history.”