Neil Alden Armstrong, born on 5 August 1930 in Wapakoneta, Ohio, is an astronaut, test pilot, aviator of the United States Navy and American professor. It is the first man to set foot on the moon.
His first space flight aboard Gemini 8 was in 1966, flight on which he wore as a pilot-commander. During this mission, he performed the first manual docking of two spacecraft with pilot Dave Scott. The second space flight was Armstrong as commander of the famous mission of Apollo 11 lunar landing on 20 July 1969. During this mission, he and Buzz Aldrin descended to the surface of the moon in the Apollo lunar module and spent two hours twenty to explore while Michael Collins remained in orbit in the command module of Apollo and service. Armstrong received the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.
Before becoming an astronaut, this graduate of Purdue University working in the United States Navy and participated in the Korean War. After the war he served as a pilot trial at the High-Speed Flight Station of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the site now known as the Dryden Flight Research Center, where he conducted more than 900 flights over 200 different devices as the North American F-100 Super Saber (A and C), the McDonnell F-101 Voodoo and the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter. He also flew the Bell X-1B, Bell X-5, the North American X-15, Republic F-105 Thunderchief, the Convair F-106 Delta Dart, the Boeing B-47 Stratojet, Boeing KC - 135 stratotankers and NASA Paresev.
Youth and Children
Son of Stephen Koenig Armstrong and Viola Louise Engel, Neil Armstrong was born on 5 August 1930 in the rural Midwest in Wapakoneta, Ohio. It is of Scottish, Irish and German. Stephen Armstrong worked for the state government of Ohio, and the family moved many times through the fifteen years following the birth of Neil, living in twenty different cities. Armstrong, the eldest, had two brothers and sisters, June and Dean. The latest move forced his father was at Wapakoneta in 1944. At that time, Armstrong was active in scouting and joined the Boy Scouts of America where he eventually obtained the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest distinction possible in the organization. In adulthood, it will award him the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award and Silver Buffalo Award. In Wapakoneta, he studied at the Blume High School.
Neil is interested in aviation from an early age, first practicing modeling, then moving his pilot's license during the summer of 1946. In 1947, Armstrong began studying aerospace at Purdue University, where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta and Kappa Kappa Psi. It was only the second person in his family to go to university. It was also accepted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), but the only engineer he knew and who had studied, dissuaded to go, telling Armstrong that it was not necessary to go Cambridge (Massachusetts) to receive a good education. The tuition for the university have been paid under the Holloway Plan, which allowed the settlement of four years of study to the candidates, if the following three years were made in favor of a commitment to U.S. Navy then the completion of two years of graduation. At Purdue, he received average marks, increasing then decreasing over the eight semesters.
Service in the Navy
The call of the Navy arrived on 26 January 1949, and demanded his presence at the Naval Air Station Pensacola for flight training. This lasted nearly eighteen months, during which he qualified for the landing aboard the aircraft carrier USS Cabot and USS Wright. On 12 August 1950, he was informed by letter that he was now fully qualified as a naval aviator.
His first assignment was to "Fleet Aircraft Service Squadron 7" of the Naval Air Station San Diego, base now known as Naval Air Station North Island. Two months later, he was assigned to fighter squadron 51 (VF-51), a squadron of jet. It will make its first flight in this type of aircraft, a Grumman F9F-2B Panther on January 5 1951. Six months later, he made his first landing on the USS Essex. The same week, he was promoted to aspire to teach. At the end of the month, the Essex set sail to Korea with the VF-51 on board, so that its aircraft had to act as ground attack. Thereafter, he made over 600 flights in a wide variety of aircraft.
Armstrong began his action in the Korean War on 29 August 1951 as qu'escorte for a photo reconnaissance aircraft on Songjin (Kimch'aek). Five days later, his plane was shot down, which remain the only time. The main targets of his reconnaissance flight was a storage area of goods and a bridge over a narrow valley south of the village of Majon-ni, west of Wonsan. By bombarding low altitude near 560 km / h in his F9F Panther, his plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire. The aircraft nose dive, and his right wing was sheared about 2 m suspended by a cable about 150 m across the valley by the North Koreans. Armstrong was able to fly the plane back into the territory "friend", but could not land safely because of the loss of the wing and had to eject over a water body near Pohang and wait for rescue helicopters. With the wind, his ejection seat fell on land and Armstrong free, could be taken over by a jeep driven by one of his friends in quarters of the flight school. It is not known what happened to the wreck of the F9F-2 No. 125122.
During the Korean War, Armstrong has made 78 missions for a total of 121 flight hours, mostly in January 1952. He received the Air Medal for his first 20 combat missions, a Gold Star for the 20 following, and the Korean Service Medal and Engagement Star. Armstrong left the navy on 23 August 1952 and became a Lieutenant (Junior Grade) in the United States Navy Reserve.
Armstrong returned to Purdue University, after leaving the Navy, and his best were those semesters following his return from Korea. His last average was 4.8 on 6.0. He earned a bachelor of science in aerospace from Purdue University in 1955.