Neil Armstrong

Comments

1
Nooooooooo!

RIP. :(
2
I'm already crying. The moon landing was the biggest event, the Last Great Thing I'll ever see my country do. It changed my life, and this is what heros are, not people fighting pointless wars for Cheney, Rumsfeld & Wolfowitz.
3
Long after our great, great, great grandchildren have passed away, Neil Armstrong's footprints will still be there, undisturbed, on the Sea on Tranquility: a still reminder of what we are capable of in our greatest moments. A better memorial for the man and his age, I cannot imagine.
4
I watched the landing live. It made me think of all the people before me that looked at the moon in wonder. And then I thought about the bravery of this man. Nerves of steel. RIP.
6
Indeed, most sad. Good that had a nice long life. What fortitude he exercised. RIP Neil Armstrong.

I believe the Lunar landing, walk and return to safety on earth of those astronauts the most incredible technical event in my lifetime. Remember, that event was photographed, live.

Extraordinary.
7
@6 And your phone has many more times the memory of that spacecraft. Really primitive by today's standard.
8
I believe the LEM computer had 8k of memory.

Neil Armstrong: a hero for all humanity.
9
Feels bad, man.
@3: Right on.
10
A lovely obituary in the NYT. Recounting how everyone on earth tried to get to a TV or at least a radio to bear witness to his and Aldrin's walk on the moon, it reads, "Afterward, people walked out of their homes and gazed at the moon, in awe of what they had just seen." The thought of so many millions of us seeking out a view of the moon together that night - man, that's beautiful. Cried like a, well, a weepy middle-aged homo.
11
Yes, @3, right on.
12
In November of 2010, at the age of 80, Neil Armstrong offered his services as commander of a crewed mission to Mars. Godspeed, Neil. Thanks for reminding us of what we're capable of.
13
He was a local boy from Poulsbo, WA.
14
Watching the Apollo 11 moon landing was the most definitive experience of my life to-date. Laying on the floor watching, along with half the people in the world, the ghostly, flickering black-and-white images of a white, balloonish figure bounding across the dun-colored landscape under a sky as black as ink. Men from earth walking on the Moon! And we were watching it live from a quarter of a million miles away! It was literally a triumph of sheer collective will, arguably the most momentous achievement in the entirety of human history - and all it took to accomplish was simply that we'd decided to go, and so we went.

When historians look back at our era from the distant future, most of our stupid, fumbling attempts at learning to live with each other on a small ball of rock and water will have been long forgotten, our names not so much as whispered for a millennium; Neil Armstrong will be one of the few exceptions; he'll be remembered for as long as there are Human Beings left to tell the story of our first, faltering steps away from our celestial home. That's a pretty damned fine legacy.

They'll remember, but we saw. I consider that a more-than-fair trade.

Godspeed, Neil Armstrong, you're number one on the runway...
15
I like his last name. Maybe he's native amaerikan.
16
@13:

The folks in his birthplace of Wapakoneta, OH will be very surprised to learn that.
17
Uh-0h 13,16 catfight
18
I still remember looking up at the moon after watching the landing.
19
RIP Armstrong.

The next generation is quietly training to land asteroids to explore and possibly SAVE THE PLANET!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hl7msH2Sw…

Astronauts are awesome!
20
@18 - me, too. I was a little girl in Arizona and we went out afterwards and looked up at that big dark sky.

Bless you, Neil Armstrong. RIP.
21
I was 7. I remember watching the coverage on our first color TV, only it was in B&W! I was eating warm blackberry pie (that my mom baked from blackberries I picked from "the play field" (aka, vacant lot) that week.) with vanilla ice cream. I was a little too young to grasp the significance of what I was watching, I mean Bugs Bunny had been to MARS, right? But I still remember that night. And the pie. And I'll never forget it. Like it was yesterday!

One giant leap. RIP, Neil!

Think I'm gonna go pick some blackberries.
22
Though we would get a used 19" B&W Philco TV at Christmastime in 1969, my parents didn't "believe" in having television in the house before that, so I listened to the moon landing lying prone on the carpet in front of the Magnavox hi-fi.

Looking back, I think I had the best view.

It's pathetic (and chalk it up to our truculence as a species and emphasis on "defense" budgets) that, in all likelihood, 50-100 years will elapse between mankind's last footfalls on the moon and our next visit to another world. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and MIchael Collins will live forever among the ranks of humanity's greatest explorers.
23
We watched the moon landing on a black and white set that was rolled into our classroom at Lakeside Elementary. We could hardly see a thing, but I remember the childhood awe of it. What an achievement. Neil Armstrong, what a name for history.
24
Man, I thought I was old compared to other sloggers.

I was too late in coming for the moon landing, never gave it much thought in later years, and the whole space exploration thing just has no appeal to me, aside from pretty pictures. This is said with absolutely no disrespect to Armstrong. RIP USA.
25
Ok, they played GOLF up there, took pictures of eachother, planted a flag, then hit the road. Exactly what did the apollo missions accomplish? I retain no nostalgia for that silly era of my childhood that has thankfully passed so we can do real space exploration with satellite and drones. The least we could do is do some real physics to make up for the petrocarbin fiesta wasted on manned missions.
26
@25 Fuck you. It was a big deal in 1969, and it's just as big a deal now. Sorry about your unhappy childhood, try therapy.
@23 Huh? I watched it in NM and it was a weekend night (Sunday as I recall). How was it a school day here, or did you see a rerun or a special showing at the school on a weekend night?
27
I'll say it again. @25: Fuck you. With a rusty garden weasel.
28
I just come here for the @25 Fuck you. Long live government funded space exploration!
29
I know where you're coming from, @25, and I was looking at the picture of the astronaut with the flag today after I heard the news and wondering the same thing. I personally think the Voyager data are much more amazing than taking pictures and playing golf on the moon.

But I think part of the warmth people have for the Apollo 11 mission is the sheer phenomenal accomplishment of delivering an Earth life form to some other body. And not only that, but taking photographs of it and then, perhaps more incredibly, bringing that life form back to Earth, safe and sound. If you think about it for a minute, this is the stuff of pure fantasy. Think about the countless generations of humans who phantasized about traveling to the moon, made epic stories about it as you would about any other seemingly impossible feat, like journeying to the world of the dead, and imagine what it was like for people in 1969 to go outside, look at the moon, and think, "We went there, and we came back. We now know what it's like there." That's awesome beyond description.
30
What a great, humble man, an Ohio boy through-and-through. Here's a statement from his family:

“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink."
31
25: Why don't you ask the folks running Curiosity whether Apollo accomplished anything? Anybody working with fuel cells?

2: You have to remember that the "Last Great Thing" this nation did was during a time when over 200 Americans were dying per week in another pointless war, Richard Nixon was President after a horrific 1968, and 2 1/2 years after the catastrophic Apollo 1 mission. This nation can (and I believe will) do Great Things once we decide to do them.
32
What a shame most American men are pussies today. RIP Neil.
33
@32
I could be wrong, but I think you're talking about every guy on TV, and in downtown Seattle.
34
I remember being 9 and family was on a road trip (I was pretty upset about that) but we got to see the landing in a motel lobby. For a little while the world pretty much stopped. Crime down all over the place for instance. Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins have a special place in a lot of memories and now Armstrong is gone.

For the youngsters: Nobody EVER had stood on another planetary body and people had dreamed of going to the moon pretty much as long as they dreamed of flying. I missed that first flight but not this.

I remember my grandad (an engineer) being amazed he was alive for the Wright Flyer AND Apollo 11.

It was a very big deal. Sadly there were only a few flights; the development cost way WAY more than the flight cost. Sagan compared it to buying a luxury car (development cost) and filling the tank a few times (relative flight cost) before junking it.
35
Here is an online memorial to Neil Armstrong - please feel free to light a virtual candle or send
virtual flowers - http://www.memorialmatters.com/memorials…
36
Here is an online memorial to Neil Armstrong - please feel free to light a virtual candle or send
virtual flowers - http://www.memorialmatters.com/memorials…
37
Armstrong didn't just land on the Moon and get out and take a walk. He piloted the LEM right down to the final descent as he saw the computer was about to land the thing down a deep crater...some place they did not want to be. If you go to the NASA site they have the raw footage and audio of the complete landing sequence. It was a real nailbiter for Mission Control as they went down to the last dregs of fuel. Armstrong, from his X1B days, in Gemini and as an Apollo pilot, exemplified the Right Stuff.
38
It was a sound stage! In Burbank!

Just kidding - RIP Neil.
39
Don't search twitter for "Who is Neil Armstrong". You'll want to punch your screen.

https://twitter.com/#!/search/%22who%20i…
40
Here's Buzz Aldrin's statement, it made me tear up: http://buzzaldrin.com/buzz-aldrins-offic…
41
@40
Indeed, that was most eloquent and poignant. It moved me.

I just read brief bios on the 12 (only 12) humans that actually walked on the surface of the moon. One bit of trivia struck me. The first, Armstrong (to arrive) & last, Eugene Cernan astronauts to walk (to leave) graduated from Purdue University.

Cool.
42
Goodnight stars
Goodnight air
Goodnight noises everywhere

Goodnight Neil Armstrong
43
@32

They aren't hipsters, they are irrelevant old libs.

That said RIP Neil, the nations greatest accomplishment was long before I was born.
44
@39 thanks for that. Good thing I don't work at twitter, I'd be in their database deleting all that shit. Oh my fucking god, nauseating.
45
43 years ago he had a 50% chance of surviving, yesterday he died. Read the story of the first man to land on the Moon. http://brabbu.com/blog/2012/08/and-the-n…
46
43 years ago he had a 50% chance of surviving, yesterday he died. Read the story of the first man to land on the Moon. http://brabbu.com/blog/2012/08/and-the-n…
47
Manned space flight was never really a good idea.

Unmanned space flight means lower costs, better data. it means you can go farther into space than you could with a human on board. It means that if something goes wrong, you won't wind up killing somebody.

If we really want to travel through space, let's wait until we have gathered sufficient data to ensure that we do it correctly.
48
@39, I was hoping for a new laptop but then I realized that apple doesn't cover accidental damage. (so wanted to punch the screen).

@40, That was a nice statement from Buzz Aldrin.

I was at Cairo Vibrations Festival from noon to 9pm and out of communication with the internet so I didn't know about his passing till this morning. I just happen to look at the moon that Saturday evening and think about the moon landings and other space explorations without knowing the sad news of the day.

And there's this

Whoops! NBC news reports death of astronaut Neil ... Young
http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainm…
49
@47: there's room, I think, for both.

The thing is, you're right: manned spaceflight is horrendously difficult and expensive compared to sending robots. So yes, by all means: flood the solar system with unmanned probes on the cheap!

But the only way we're ever going to seriously cut down the cost and difficulty of manned spaceflight is by doing it, at least on an experimental basis, so that we can get real data about what works and what doesn't. And this is a two-way street: manned spaceflight provides data that the unmanned programs use and vice-versa.
50
@47:

Armstrong, along with the other NASA astronauts and the literally hundreds of thousands of people who have supported manned exploration since the beginning of the Space Age, have been showing us how to do it correctly for the past 50 years. Even in the face of catastrophic failures, such as Apollo 1, Challenger & Columbia, they've shown us how it can be done successfully.

Yes, robotic probes are cheaper, and do provide us with a wealth of information, but machines have their limitations, as Armstrong himself proved during Eagle's touchdown, when the LM's on-board computer kept resetting itself due to an overload of input. Had he not taken manual control at the time he did, Eagle would have most likely crashed into a field of automobile sized rocks on the slope of a large crater. It was his human ability to observe, assess, evaluate, improvise and act, that provided the crucial difference between the success or failure of the mission.

So, unless humans are planning to evolve into purely machine intelligence sometime in the next few thousand years, we must learn to survive in the harsh environments of space and other worlds, for our own survival as a species, if nothing else.

But, there's an even more fundamental rationale for manned space exploration, which was summarized most eloquently by Apollo 15 Commander Dave Scott: "As I stand out here in the wonders of the unknown at Hadley, I realize there's a fundamental truth to our nature, Man must explore..."

Curiosity, the desire for new knowledge and experience, and the impulse to exceed our own limitations; these qualities are integral to the human spirit. When we exercise them, we achieve greatness; when we neglect them, we deny an essential part of what makes us who we are.

Man must explore, despite the risks, and recognizing that failure will be part of the learning experience, because that is how we learn and grow and become better. Robotic probes are marvelous tools for helping us do that; but in the end, that's all they are - tools. It is the hand that wields the tool and the mind that directs that hand that count. If we're going to continue as a species, we have to give those minds the opportunity for first-hand experience otherwise, really, what's the point?

Sending probes is just us crawling out into the Cosmos; eventually, we're going to want to take steps, like Armstrong did, using our own two feet; it's what we do, and the sooner we take them, the better we'll get at doing it.
51
Mr. Armstrong has taken a great step towards eternity. I wonder where he's landed this time around. A true hero of our time, perhaps the only name never forgotten.
52
#49, #50

The manned space missions were a product of the Cold War. Partly driven by concerns that a Soviet advantage in space might have military applications, and partly driven by our national ego, we only became interested in manned space flight after Yuri Gagarin took a little stroll through the cosmos.

The Cold War is over. Remember all those military alliances we clung to in the Cold War, only to surreptitiously drop as soon as the USSR fell apart? We held on to the Space Shuttle for a little longer, maybe out of force of habit until even that became an obvious white elephant.

The original motivation for our manned space missions is gone. Manned space flight does have some romance to it. Romance doesn't justify the risks, limitations, and costs.. Not when our economy is undergoing gravitational collapse. You can have your hyperexpensive romance after we make sure everybody's got a job, a place to sleep, and food. The real threat to our national survival is no longer a Soviet space platform in geosynchronous orbit over DC. Our real problem is the dying star we call Wall Street.
53
@52:

Currently, NASA's budget of $17.7 billion represents less than half of one percent of the total 2012 federal budget, or about $56 per person, and that includes both manned and unmanned programs, so hardly a budget-buster on any scale. (By way of comparison, total military spending for 2012 is budgeted at $683 billion, or $2,175 per person, nearly 40 times more.)

Also, please bear in mind that quite literally 100% of NASA's budget is spent right here on earth, providing good-paying jobs to hundreds of thousands of employees and contractors around the country. The argument that we could simply shift that money away from NASA in order to address other pressing social issues, as you suggest, is specious at-best, because, while hypothetically it could be used for the purposes you cite, you've also just added several hundred thousand people to the number now needing those services, which doesn't really solve the problem, does it?
54
So where is Mudede posting that he was just a worthless hillbilly because he liked country music?
55
53,

At no point have I suggested that unmanned missions be defunded, or that NASA in genera should be defunded.

I am arguing and have consistently done so for unmanned space missions. I believe that manned space missions are a boondoggle that needs to be scrapped, at least until the financial catastrophe is resolved.

By all means, send an armada of robots into the exosphere and go explore space. Keep those several hundred thousand engineers and astrophysicists gainfully employed. But don't ask me for a dime just to stroke somebody's ego by sending human beings into space when doing so produces next to no benefit