Former Astronaut Neil Armstrong Dead At 82

Saturday, August 25th 2012, 3:32 pm
By: News On 6

American hero Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, is dead at age 82.

He died of complications from a heart-bypass operation he underwent earlier this month, according to family members.

Armstrong was commander for Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing mission.

On July 20, 1969, Armstrong stepped out on the moon's surface uttering the words, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

Armstrong's family released a statement Saturday:

"While we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves.

"For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request: Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink."

Armstrong was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio, on August 5, 1930. He was a decorated naval combat pilot from 1949 to 1952, according to his NASA biography.

He first worked for what is now NASA in Cleveland as an engineer, test pilot, astronaut and administrator. He piloted the Gemini 8 mission, performing the first successful docking of two vehicles in space.

Armstrong rarely talked about his fame, but had some words at the moon landing's 30th anniversary. 

"In my own view, the important achievement of Apollo was a demonstration that humanity is not forever chained to this planet," he said