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August 26, 2012

Neil Armstrong dies

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Portrait of Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong
Cquote1.svg That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind Cquote2.svg

Neil Armstrong

Apollo 11 mission commander, Neil Armstrong died on Saturday at age 82, due to complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures. Neil Armstrong, was the first man to step on the moon on July 20, 1969. He said the now famous words “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Two days before his birthday, Armstrong successfully underwent heart surgery.

Armstrong’s associate, Edwin Aldrin, who also walked on the moon released a statement regarding the death stating;

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.
 
Edwin Aldrin, CBC News



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US astronaut Neil Armstrong dies

US astronaut Neil Armstrong dies – Wikinews, the free news source

US astronaut Neil Armstrong dies

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

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Armstrong in his space suit before the launch of Apollo 11.
Image: NASA.

Former American astronaut Neil Armstrong has died at the age of 82, due to complications following heart bypass surgery earlier this month. He is known as the first person to walk on the moon when commander of Apollo 11, the first manned mission to land on the moon.

Armstrong was born on August 5, 1930 in Wapakoneta, Ohio. On March 16, 1966, he became the first American civilian to orbit Earth whilst onboard Gemini VIII with crewmate Davis R. Scott. Following Gemini VIII’s docking with another spacecraft in orbit, it began tumbling out of control due to a faulty thruster. Armstrong used an emergency set of thrusters to regain control; Gemini VIII then landed in the Pacific Ocean after ten hours of flight.

Apollo 11 launched on July 16, 1969, with Armstrong and crewmates Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. Whilst Collins stayed in lunar orbit, Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the moon on July 20; On touchdown, Armstrong said: “Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed”. Upon stepping on to the surface of the Moon on July 20, 1969, he famously said, “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” The landing, and subsequent moonwalk, was watched by half a billion people around the world. Armstrong and Aldrin spent approximately two hours walking on the lunar surface before lifting off for Apollo 11’s return to Earth on July 24.

Neil Armstrong describes the Moon’s surface before setting foot on it.
Video: NASA.

Armstrong later spent a few years as a NASA manager. Also teaching engineering at the University of Cincinnati, he was appointed to panels investigating the Apollo 13 and Challenger disasters. His first wife, Jan, divorced him in 1995; he married Carol Knight in 1999, and lived in Cincinnati.

After Armstrong’s death, his family released a statement saying, “While we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves.”

Buzz Aldrin released a statement on his website paying tribute to Armstrong: “I will miss my friend Neil as I know our fellow citizens and people around world will miss this foremost aviation and space pioneer.”



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August 25, 2012

American astronaut Neil Armstrong dies

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Armstrong in his space suit before the launch of Apollo 11.
Image: NASA.

The American astronaut Neil Armstrong has died aged 82 following heart bypass surgery earlier this month.

Armstrong was the commander of Apollo 11, the first manned mission to the Moon and is the first man to walk on the Moon. Upon stepping on to the surface of the Moon on July 20, 1969, he famously said “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”



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November 14, 2009

NASA mission finds water on the Moon

NASA mission finds water on the Moon – Wikinews, the free news source

NASA mission finds water on the Moon

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

An artist’s rendering of the probe approaching the Moon

“The argument that the moon is a dry, desolate place no longer holds water,” says a press release from NASA. A Moon mission launched by the agency has confirmed the presence of water on the moon. The discovery comes a year after a NASA instrument on an Indian lander indicated there were water molecules on the surface of our satellite.

On September 24, 2008 the Indian Space Research Organisation had stated Chandrayaan-1 had discovered water based on readings from NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper, one of eleven instruments carried by the probe. Those results indicated water was widespread in low quantities. That probe, launched in October 2008, had to be abandoned on August 30 when contact was lost with it on the Moon’s surface.

The new mission, called LCROSS, consisted of two separate spacecraft which travelled the 250,000 miles together in June before separating. An empty rocket slammed into the Cabeus crater, near the southern pole, while a small spacecraft stayed behind to take measurements from the plume of debris thrown up, although it too ultimately crashed into Cabeus. Across the United States people spent the night on lawns and in parks hoping to see the impact, on the 40th anniversary of the first Apollo Moon landing, but it was invisible to the naked eye. NASA had predicted a visible six-mile plume; the reality was only a mile high.

File:NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite leave the launch pad.jpg

Blastoff
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

The twin impacts on October 9 are now known to have sent 25 gallons of water ice and vapour into the air amongst the debris kicked up from the 60 to 100 foot wide hole produced by the rocket. This amount only accounts for the debris scientists could actually see over the rim, and the remaining debris could contain more water. It is unclear how much water may be distributed accross the Moon, although hydrogen at the poles suggests water ice there.

LCROSS stands for lunar crater observation and sensing satellite, which was the satellite’s name, while its rocket companion was called Centaur. It took a month to analyse the spectrometer data from the mission, and efforts are ongoing to determine the composition of the remaining material kicked up out the crater. The whole project cost $75 million.

“We got more than just whiff. We practically tasted it with the impact,” said project co-investigator Peter H Schultz. The material thrown up split into a curtain travelling sideways and a plume that passed the crater’s rim, bringing it into the sunlight for the first time in billions of years. Both contained water. “We are ecstatic,” said project leader Anthony Colaprete. “We didn’t find just a little bit, we found a significant amount.”

Michael Wargo, who heads up lunar research for NASA, said “We’re unlocking the mysteries of our nearest neighbour and by extension the solar system. It turns out the moon harbours many secrets, and LCROSS has added a new layer to our understanding.” It is thought that by analysing the water we can learn of the moon’s history, in a fashion similar to investigating Earth history with ice cores.

University of Maryland physicist Robert Park cautioned that people should not assume that water on the lunar surface would support a colony. “They’ve haven’t found a big reservoir of it,” he said. “I suspect this is just water clinging to the soil particles.”

Buzz Aldrin, one of the first to walk on the Moon when he followed pioneer Neil Armstrong out of Apollo 11, said he was pleased by the news but added that “People will overreact to this news and say, ‘Let’s have a water rush to the moon.’ It doesn’t justify that.” Aldrin wants the US to aim to colonise Mars, but NASA is looking at more lunar trips. Last month a new rocket was tested, and Barack Obama has set up a panel to look at possible Moon missions. George W. Bush had previously proposed a $100 billion programme to put more astronauts onto the Moon. NASA wants to return by 2020 and build a lunar base, allowing astronauts to remain for months at a time.



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July 20, 2009

Fortieth anniversary of first manned Moon landing

Fortieth anniversary of first manned Moon landing

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Buzz Aldrin walks on the moon on July 20, 1969.

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the first ever landing of humans on the Moon. Launched on July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 touched down on the lunar surface at 20:17 UTC on July 20.

The historic anniversary was marked by the current United States President, Barack Obama, meeting the crew, Neil Armstrong and “Buzz” Aldrin, the first men on the satellite’s surface, and Michael Collins, who remained in lunar orbit. Obama praised the men and commented on the global historical significance of their deeds. At the time of the initial landing Aldrin and Armstrong spoke to then-president Richard M. Nixon by radio shortly after landing.

“That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind”

The culmination of the 1960s space race between the Soviet Union and the U.S. was not solely the work of the Americans. Among the statements surrounding the anniversary, Armstrong had written a message praising the Australian team at Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station near Canberra. Without their involvement there would have been no black and white television pictures for the millions worldwide who watched man’s first step onto the Moon. Armstrong stated he had been surprised when Mission control told him they had pictures, commenting about the camera, “in all that testing, I never saw a picture successfully transmitted. But the chaps assured us that it would, in fact, work. And it did.”

NASA’s current plans to return to the Moon by 2020 have been derided by Buzz Aldrin. Today at a reunion of lunar astronauts he dismissed these proposals, “America to Mars is what ought to be, not America back to the moon”. Plans for a lunar base to practice for a Mars trip also met with his scorn.

The journey to the Moon was initiated by then-President John F. Kennedy in 1961. The last time an astronaut walked on the moon was in 1972. In 1989 then-President George H.W. Bush used the twentieth anniversary to announce plans to fly back to the Moon and then on to Mars, but these never materialized. Obama has set up a commission to provide advice on where to take the U.S. space program next.

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September 6, 2005

Manned mission to Mars at least 20 years away, easier than first trip to Moon

Manned mission to Mars at least 20 years away, easier than first trip to Moon

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Tuesday, September 6, 2005

At a global leadership forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong said that a manned mission to Mars is at least 20 years away, but that such a mission will be easier to accomplish than the Apollo missions.

“It will certainly be 20 years or more before that [a manned Mars mission] happens,” the former astronaut said.

“It will be expensive, it will take a lot of energy and a complex spacecraft. But I suspect that, even though the various questions are difficult and many, they are not as difficult and many as those we faced when we started the Apollo Program in 1961,” he continued.

Armstrong, who is 75, is known for seldom appearing at public events and for not granting interviews. He commanded the Apollo 11 moon mission in 1969, and was the first man to set foot upon the Moon. He left the space program in 1971 to teach aeronautical engineering at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio.

The current United States space programme plans to send astronauts back to the moon in 15 years, and then to Mars some time after that. It is expected to cost hundreds of billions of dollars.

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