Obituary: Neil Armstrong

Astronaut Neil Armstrong (b.1930) died on August 25. Armstrong was selected in 1958 for the Man in Space Soonest program to beat the USSR into space, but the program was cancelled shortly after it was started. Two years later, he was selected for the Dynasoar project, which was also cancelled. In 1962, he joined NASA in the second flight group, eventually flying on Gemini 8 with Eugene Cernan to conduct the first docking of two spacecraft, but which also suffered a failure that put Armstrong and Cernan’s lives at risk. In 1969, as the Commander of Apollo 11, with Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the Moon. After retiring from NASA in 1971, Armstrong maintained a low profile, teaching at the University of Cincinnati. He served on accident commissions following the Apollo 13 mission and the Challenger explosion.