The Giant Leap Man – Neil Armstrong

Wait till you read the excerpts i put, GRIPPING EVENTS in his life they are.

I don’t remember in which grade I first learned that Neil Armstrong was the first man to land on moon, but I am sure that it was among the first things that I learned about science.

“One small step for man, One giant leap for mankind”, those were his first words when he set his foot upon the moon on 21 July, 1969.

His life, if you go through articles on the internet, has not been simple, it was all extraordinary. He was an American Naval Aviator before he became an astronaut. He was a part of low-bombing aviary fleet of the U.S. Army during the Korean war in 1951. He survived a crash during his duties in the Korean War.

The recounting of the events, as detailed in wikipedia:

“Armstrong first saw action in the Korean War on August 29, 1951, as an escort for a photo reconnaissance plane over Songjin. On September 3, 1951, Armstrong flew armed reconnaissance over the primary transportation and storage facilities south of the village of Majon-ni, west of Wonsan; while he was making a low bombing run at about 350 mph (560 km/h), Armstrong’s F9F Panther was hit by anti-aircraft fire. While trying to regain control, Armstrong collided with a pole at a height of about 20 feet (6.1 m), which sliced off an estimated three feet of the Panther’s right wing.
Armstrong was able to fly the plane back to friendly territory, but due to the loss of the aileron, ejection was his only safe option. He planned to eject over water and await rescue by Navy helicopters, and therefore flew to an airfield near Pohang, but his ejection seat was blown back over land. A jeep driven by a room-mate from flight school picked Armstrong up; it is unknown what happened to the wreckage of No. 125122 F9F-2.
Armstrong flew 78 missions over Korea for a total of 121 hours in the air, most of which were in January 1952. He received the Air Medal for 20 combat missions, a Gold Star for the next 20, and the Korean Service Medal and Engagement Star. Armstrong left the Navy at the age of 22 on August 23, 1952.”

Such was his excellence in flying machines.

And when he eventually became an astronaut and flew to the moon, it was him who took critical decisions while landing on the moon. When Apollo 11’s Lunar Module(LM) was some distance off their actual landing spot, Neil Armstrong changed the Fully Automatic Control of the LM to Manual Control to guide it to the right spot, which you should know is very essential in any space program.

Another excerpt from the Wikipedia page:

The objective of Apollo 11 was to land safely rather than to touch down with precision on a particular spot. Three minutes into the lunar descent burn, Armstrong noted that craters were passing about two seconds too early, which meant the Eagle would probably touch down beyond the planned landing zone by several miles.

When Armstrong noticed they were heading towards a landing area which he believed was unsafe, he took over manual control of the LM, and attempted to find an area which seemed safer, taking longer than expected, and longer than most simulations had taken.[68] For this reason, there was concern from mission control that the LM was running low on fuel. Upon landing, Aldrin and Armstrong believed they had about 40 seconds worth of fuel left, including the 20 seconds worth of fuel which had to be saved in the event of an abort. During training, Armstrong had landed the LLTV with less than 15 seconds left on several occasions, and he was also confident the LM could survive a straight-down fall from 50 feet (15 m) if needed. Analysis after the mission showed that at touchdown there were 45 to 50 seconds of propellant burn time left.
The landing on the surface of the moon occurred at 20:17:39 UTC on July 20, 1969. When a sensor attached to the legs of the still hovering Lunar Module made lunar contact, a panel light inside the LM lit up and Aldrin called out, “Contact light.” As the LM settled on the surface Aldrin then said, “Okay. Engine stop,” and Armstrong said, “Shutdown.” The first words Armstrong intentionally spoke to Mission Control and the world from the lunar surface were, “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” Aldrin and Armstrong celebrated with a brisk handshake and pat on the back before quickly returning to the checklist of tasks needed to ready the lunar module for liftoff from the Moon should an emergency unfold during the first moments on the lunar surface. During the critical landing, the only message from Houston was “30 seconds”, meaning the amount of fuel left. When Armstrong had confirmed touch-down, Houston expressed their worries during the manual landing as “You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We’re breathing again”.

And you know what he said when he set his foot upon the moon.

And when all was done, when they were ready to be back to earth, for the eventual pompous welcome from millions across the globe, this happened(source: wikipedia):

After they re-entered the LM, the hatch was closed and sealed. While preparing for the liftoff from the lunar surface, Armstrong and Aldrin discovered that, in their bulky spacesuits, they had broken the ignition switch for the ascent engine; using part of a pen, they pushed the circuit breaker in to activate the launch sequence, and Aldrin still possesses the pen which they used to do this. The lunar module then continued to its rendezvous and docked with Columbia, the command and service module. The three astronauts returned to Earth and splashed down in the Pacific ocean, to be picked up by the USS Hornet (CV-12).

On 25 August, 2012, the GIANT LEAP MAN took another big leap, a leap that will not see him return again.

Neil Armstrong.


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