American History II
22 March 2014
The Life of Neil Armstrong
“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” Neil Armstrong announced to the world in 1969. This super sensational famous quote was said when the first human being took his first step onto the moon. The operation that got Armstrong on the moon and back was Apollo 11 of the Apollo program. With his leadership and risk-taking he positively changed the future. Neil Armstrong demonstrated courage, determination and perseverance as he accomplished the intense goals throughout his life.
Armstrong was born on August fifth, 1930, in Wapakoneta, Ohio. Neil was the eldest of three children. His parents were Stephen and Viola Engel Armstrong. They always encouraged him to shoot for the moon and achieve the unachievable, and he did exactly that. At an early age he became interested in aircrafts and knew he wanted to work with them in his future. When Neil was two years old, he loved going to the airport to watch planes take off and land. He got very excited just by watching. When he was five years of age, he pretended that he was hovering over his bed. He wanted to make like a bird and fly! He loved airplanes and at six years old he had his first airplane ride. He took his first airplane ride in a Ford Tri-Motor. He was so smart in school that they moved him from second grade into third grade because he was reading at a fifth grade level. Every airplane book he got his hands on he read. He always liked building model airplanes. When Neil was in high school he worked in the Chemistry lab. In his basement he made a wind tunnel. And on the roof of his garage he built an observatory where he had telescopes to look at the moon and the stars. He learned so much and was so excited that he couldn't wait to fly. He worked in a pharmacy to pay for his flying lessons. At the age of sixteen, Neil received his pilot’s license before he even acquired his driver’s license. Neil held many jobs around town especially at the local airport. In 1946, Neil won a scholarship to Purdue University. The Navy agreed to pay for his education as long as he served time after college. After about a year, Neil was called to serve his time in the Navy when the Korean War arose. Armstrong was 18 years old when he was called in the Navy to serve. He flew 78 missions, totaling 121 hours in the air, and earned three medals. He received the Air Medal for 20 combat missions, a Gold Star for the next 20, and the Korean Service Medal and Engagement Star. Armstrong left the Navy at age 22 on August 23, 1952, and became a Lieutenant, Junior Grade, in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He remained in the reserve for eight years, then resigned on October 21, 1960. Neil Armstrong, after his service with the Navy, returned to Purdue, where his best grades came in the four semesters following his return from Korea. His final GPA was 4.8 out of 6.0. In the end, He received a Bachelor of Science Degree Aeronautical from Purdue University and a Master of Science in aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California. He learned all he could learn about spaceships, rockets, and planes. He became a test pilot for experimental X-15 rocket planes which flew to the end of the earth's atmosphere. He didn't want to stop there, he wanted to keep on going and “shoot for the moon,” as his parents told him to do. So in 1962, when NASA was taking applications for astronauts he applied, and fortunately was accepted. Armstrong’s very first mission was on Gemini 8. He was the Commanding Pilot, and David Scott was a Pilot. The mission launched on March 16, 1966, and it was to be the most complex mission yet, with a rendezvous and docking with the unmanned Agena target vehicle, the first EVA Armstrong was supposed to perform in his career. In total, the mission was planned to last 75 hours and 55 orbits. After the Agena lifted off at 10 a.m. EST, the Titan II carrying Armstrong and...
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