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First Man on Moon Neil Armstrong Dead at 82

"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

- Common Dreams staff

On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first to walk on the Moon. This panorama of their landing site sweeps across the magnificent desolation of the Moon's Sea of Tranquility, with their Lunar Module, the Eagle, in the background at the far left. East Crater, about 30 meters wide and 4 meters deep, is on the right (scroll right), and was so named because it is about 60 meters east of the Lunar Module. Armstrong had piloted the Eagle safely over the crater. Near the end of his stay on the lunar surface Armstrong strayed far enough from the Lunar Module to take the pictures used to construct this wide-angle view, his shadow appearing at the panorama's left edge. The object near the middle foreground is a stereo close-up camera

Neil Armstrong, commander of Apollo 11 and the first man on the moon, laughs during testimony before a House Science, Space and Technology committee hearing in Washington September 22, 2011. REUTERS/Molly Riley Former U.S. astronaut, Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, has died at the age of 82, U.S. media reported on Saturday. His family reported the death at 2:45 p.m. ET.

Armstrong underwent a heart-bypass surgery earlier this month to relieve blocked coronary arteries.

Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, and he radioed back to Earth the historic news of "one giant leap for mankind." He spent nearly three hours walking on the moon with fellow astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin.

Armstrong and his wife married, Carol, in 1999 and made their home in the Cincinnati suburb of Indian Hill, but he has largely stayed out of public view in recent years.

He spoke at Ohio State University during a February event honoring fellow astronaut John Glenn and the 50th anniversary of Glenn becoming the first American to orbit the Earth. In May, Armstrong joined Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida to support the opening of The National Flight Academy, which aims to teach math and science to kids through an aviation-oriented camp.

In all, 12 Americans walked on the moon from 1969 to 1972.

Neil Armstrong on the Moon, July 20, 1969.

Taken from a window of their Apollo 11 lunar module, the Eagle, this picture shows the footprints in the powdery lunar soil made by astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

This incredible image of the Earth rise was taken during lunar orbit by the Apollo 11 mission crew in July of 1969. The first manned lunar mission, Apollo 11 launched aboard a Saturn V launch vehicle from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida on July 16, 1969 and safely returned to Earth on July 24, 1969.