“That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”—Neil Armstrong
“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” Neil Armstrong spoke one of the most well-known sentences in human’s history at the time he became the first menfrom Earth set foot on the Moon. Armstrong’s achievement was the result of years’ research and development, failure and success, and the U.S-Soviet competition on space science. However, it was the words of Neil Armstrong that echo in the annals of history.
Born on August 1930, Neil Armstrong mightbe one of few people who were awarded a pilot’s license before he or she had earned a driver’s license. Naturally interested in aviation, Armstrong got his first pilot license at the age of 15. Armstrong then pursued a degree inAeronautical Engineering from Purdue University. He became a testing pilotafter graduated from Purdue. During his tenure at Edwards Air Force BaseArmstrong conducted test flights of over 50 types of experimental aircraft,logging 2,450 hours of airtime.
【失败与成功】During his time as atesting pilot, Armstrong was involved in a few accidents. One fatal case occurred after an unsuccessful landing damaged the radio and hydraulic system. Armstrong headed toward Nellis Air Force Base. When attempting to land at Nellis, the tail hookof the plane lowered due to the damaged hydraulic system and caught the arresting wire on the airfield. The plane slid out of control down the runway,dragging the anchor chain along with it. The runway was then closed for the second time that day to clear the landing path of debris.
In 1957 Armstrong was selected for the manin Space Soonest (MISS) program. Then in September of 1963 he was selected as the first American civilian to fly in space. In 1966 Armstrong flew on the Gemini 8 mission, which launched March 16. Serving as Command Pilot, the crew was to complete the first ever docking with another spacecraft, an unmanned Agena target vehicle. After 6.5 hours in orbit they were able to dock with the craft, but due to complications they were unable to complete what would have been the third ever “extra-vehicular activity”, now referred to as aspace-walk.
【合作与竞争】Along with Edwin Aldrin and Michael Collins, Armstrong controlled the Apollo 11 vehicle toward the Moon. Four days later, the Eaglelunar landing module,guided manually by Armstrong, touched down on a plain near the southwestern edge of the Sea of Tranquility, at which point Armstrong declared, “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” A sigh of relief was said to have been breathed throughout mission control, as it was thought that Armstrong had merely seconds of fuel remaining before the thrusters cut and the Lander plummeted to the surface. Armstrong and Aldrin exchanged congratulations before quickly preparing the Lander to launch off the surface incase of an emergency.
【合作与竞争】“I’m going to step off the LEM now.” Armstrong declared on his way down the ladder from Lander. As his left boot made contact with the surface he then spoke the words that defined a generation, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Over 450 million listeners andaudience worldwide witnessed or listened to his proclamation.
About 15 minutes after exiting the module,Aldrin joined him on the surface and they set to investigating the environment on the lunar surface. They alsoplanted the American flag on the surface.Armstrong and Aldrin left the module for more than two hours and deployed scientific instruments, collected surface samples, and took numerous photographs.
Armstrong was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom right after their touchdown back on Earth. He received various honors bestowed upon civilians, including medals from NASA and other countries.