Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, in 1969 took a “small step” to become the first human to set foot on the moon. Armstrong was born on August 5, 1930, and died at the age of 82, in the year 2012, on August 25. He was also an aerospace engineer, naval aviator, test pilot, and a university professor.
When Neil Armstrong died in 2012, it was officially put down to complications arising from heart surgery. But seven years on, more murky circumstances have come to light. According to the newspapers, the family had threatened to publicly accuse the hospital of medical malpractice.
On his death anniversary, here are some lesser-known facts about Neil Armstrong:
- Neil Armstrong was a NASA astronaut most famous for being the first person to walk on the moon, on July 20, 1969. Armstrong also flew on NASA’s Gemini 8 mission in 1966.
- He was a naval aviator from 1949 to 1952 and served in the Korean War. He earned his bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University in 1955.
- Armstrong became a test pilot for NASA (then known as NACA, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) and flew the X-15, a rocket-powered, missile-shaped aircraft that tested the limits of high-altitude flight.
- The astronaut’s first flight was as command pilot of the Gemini 8 mission in March 1966 — the sixth crewed mission of that series.
- Armstrong and pilot David Scott completed the first orbital docking of two spacecraft, joining their Gemini 8 spacecraft to an uncrewed Agena target vehicle.
- Neil Armstrong has spent over eight days, 14 hours, 12 minutes and 30 seconds in space with an EVA time of two hours and 31 minutes.
- Armstrong also narrowly avoided a nasty accident in May 1968, this time within Earth’s atmosphere, while flying the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle — a machine that could fly somewhat like a lunar module and simulate landings on the moon.
- In 1978, former President, Richard Nixon awarded Armstrong the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
- On August 25, 2012, Armstrong died at the age of 82 due to complications after his coronary artery bypass surgery.