Saturday, August 25, 2012

Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong dead at 82 (though NBC calls him 'Neil Young')

Neil Armstrong was the first astronaut - nay, the first human - to set foot on the moon. He died at the age of 82 on Saturday, with his family attributing his death to “complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures.” That surgery took place about three weeks ago.

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” Armstrong is noted for saying as he stepped onto the moon's surface (seen below in an embedded video) on July 20, 1969.

Second on the moon was Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, who is also 82. Circling the moon above in the Apollo 11 command module was Michael Collins, 81, who never reached the surface of the moon, but was there in spirit.

On Saturday, upon hearing of Armstrong's death, Aldrin said,

"Whenever I look at the moon it reminds me of the moment over four decades ago when I realized that even though we were farther away from earth than two humans had ever been, we were not alone. Virtually the entire world took that memorable journey with us. I know I am joined by millions of others in mourning the passing of a true American hero and the best pilot I ever knew. My friend Neil took the small step but giant leap that changed the world and will forever be remembered as a landmark moment in human history. I had truly hoped that in 2019, we would be standing together along with our colleague Mike Collins to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of our moon landing. Regrettably, this is not to be. Neil will most certainly be there with us in spirit."

Collins did not issue a direct statement, but NASA spokesman Bob Jacobs tweeted that Collins told the agency on Saturday that he will miss Armstrong terribly.

The White House issued the following statement from U.S President Barack Obama:

"Michelle and I were deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Neil Armstrong. Neil was among the greatest of American heroes - not just of his time, but of all time. When he and his fellow crew members lifted off aboard Apollo 11 in 1969, they carried with them the aspirations of an entire nation. They set out to show the world that the American spirit can see beyond what seems unimaginable -- that with enough drive and ingenuity, anything is possible. And when Neil stepped foot on the surface of the moon for the first time, he delivered a moment of human achievement that will never be forgotten.

"Today, Neil's spirit of discovery lives on in all the men and women who have devoted their lives to exploring the unknown - including those who are ensuring that we reach higher and go further in space. That legacy will endure - sparked by a man who taught us the enormous power of one small step." was among the first to report on the death of astronaut Neil Armstrong, 82. There was a problem though: their report called him Neil Young.

Meanwhile, rocker Neil Young, 66, is alive and well.

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