Life spent at the NACA (“Neil Armstrong: Learning
Life of the legendary Neil Armstrong What was your childhood dream? Did you wish to be a princess or prince? Or did you dream of becoming a big time rock star? At one point in a person’s life, they dream of the inevitable.
Finding out that they are incapable of reaching those dreams, they then face reality and continue on to do something that they love. Although several people go through this stage and grow out of it within time, one man’s childhood dream stuck with him, and by doing so, he made an ample contribution to the world.Neil Armstrong was soon to make his mark in the history books. Armstrong was born on August 30, 1930 in Wapakoneta, Ohio to Stephen and Viola Louise (Contemporary Authors Online). At the early age of sixteen he received his pilot’s license and went on to become a student pilot. Later, at the age of seventeen, he became a naval cadet, which later on in the year earned him a navy scholarship.
He attended Purdue University in West Lafayette, India (Neil Armstrong: Learning to Fly). Afterwards, beginning at the age of twenty, he fought in the Korean War (Encarta. sn. com).
Armstrong flew fighter planes for the navy, and then returned to Purdue. There, he received his B. S. degree in aeronautical engineering in 1955 at the age of twenty-five. Right out of college, he joined the Cleveland National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, which he later in the year, transferred to the NACA base in California. There, he became the first civilian to enter the astronaut training program.
During his training at the NACA, he tested over 200 different types of aircrafts including helicopters, jets, and rockets (Encarta. sn. com). Neil flew more than 1,100 hours within his time spent at the NACA (“Neil Armstrong: Learning to Fly). While he was attending college at Purdue, Neil met his first wife, Janet Sheardon. Neil married Janet Sheardon on January of the year 1965. A year after their wedding the couple had their first child, their son Eric was born.
Two years after Eric, their daughter Karen came along, but died three years later due to a massive brain tumor (Contemporary Authors Online).At the age of twenty-eight, a year before Karen was born; Armstrong signed on as a research pilot for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which had only been established earlier that year (Fleming, Thomas). After a total of four years signed on at NASA, Armstrong achieved his childhood dream, and officially became an astronaut. NASA had recently sent two men into space, this time they decided to try something never done before.
Neil and a few other members were to dock with the Agena, a spacecraft stationed for this purpose.This mission was Armstrong’s first space flight and they had appointed him as commander. He and his fellow astronaut, David Scott, boarded the Gemini 8 in March of 1966. While docking with the Agena, both spacecrafts began to slowly spin, gradually gaining speed every minute. Armstrong and Scott had no choice but to undock and abort the mission as soon as possible (Fleming, Thomas). Although they had some difficulties, the mission, however, was not a failure.
On July 16, 1969, Armstrong was to leave on his second mission. This time, he and his co-pilot, Edwin Aldin, were to achieve the unremarkable.They were to be the first to walk on the moon. Traveling to the moon was thought to be a extremely difficult task, for no one had ever set foot on the moon’s surface before and they did not know what to expect. With high hopes they boarded the spaceship.
They lifted off into space and connected with their command module, the spaceship Columbia. Neil and Edwin were then placed in a rocket and flung into lunar orbit, sixty miles above the moon’s surface. Once their landing spot was located, Neil quickly realized that it was not safe to land there.Looking down at the surface he noticed gigantic boulders covering a vast amount of land below. Having to make a critical split decision, Armstrong manually navigated the rocket to a safer place with only 30 seconds of fuel left to land.
Four miles off the planned course, they finally spotted a safer landing spot. After a hectic landing, they readied themselves to be the first to walk the moon. Over one half of the population tuned in their T. V. s to watch history unfold before them.
July 20, 1969 at 10:56 pm Eastern time, Neil Armstrong stepped off of the rocket and onto the moon’s surface.Putting his left foot first, America listened as he spoke the famous word: “That’s one small step for a man… One large leap for mankind. ” Twenty minutes after Armstrong, Aldrin joined him (Fleming).
Spending over twenty hours, the two of them collected several soil samples and took several photographs of their surroundings and findings. Shortly before leaving the moon’s surface, they planted an American flag and left souvenirs from previous missions behind (Baxter, Roberta. “Neil Armstrong: Learning to Fly”). Early into the next morning they returned to their rocket and took a brief nap.After their nap, Armstrong and Alden fired back up into orbit and returned to the Columbia (Fleming Thomas). July 24, they plummeted back to earth and into the Pacific Ocean.
Once home, Armstrong and the others received the Presidential Medal of Freedom personally from President Nixon. In 1970, Armstrong announced his leaving of NASA and went on to become a professor at the University of Cincinnati teaching others about the extraordinary ways of aerospace engineering. For eight years he taught aerospace engineering, along with continuing his research and test.He left because of To his dismay, at the age of sixty-four, his wife of twenty-nine years divorced him. She had grown tired of his work schedule. She always ended up staying home alone to tend to the farm, while Neil was away on business trips. He was deeply devastated by her leaving, but went on later that year to meet another lady at a golf tournament breakfast.
They later married and to this day, are still together. Armstrong has brought a new era of exploration to the world. He has inspired many writers fascinated with the moon.