First Man on Moon Neil Armstrong Dead at 82

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Common Dreams

First Man on Moon Neil Armstrong Dead at 82

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

by
Common Dreams staff

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.

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