"The Eagle Has Landed"
Neil Alden Armstrong, born in Wapakoneta, Ohio on August 5 1930, was the first man to step foot on the moon. He began learning how to fly at age 14 and earned his wings two years later. After his graduation from high school, he enrolled at Purdue University to study aeronautical engineering on a Navy scholarship. Mr. Armstrong was called to active duty after two years of college and flew 78 combat missions during the Korean War from the "Essex" aircraft carrier. During that time, he was awarded three air medals.
After receiving his bachelor's degree back at Purdue University, he was hired at the Edwards Air Force Base in California as a civilian research pilot flying experimental planes. Neil Armstrong was one of the astronauts of the second group (and the first civilian) chosen by NASA in 1962. His first space flight was made on March 16 1966, commanding the Gemini 8 mission.
On this mission, Neil Armstrong completed the very first successful docking of 2 orbiting spacecraft. This occurred when he linked together with an Agena target vehicle. However, half an hour after the "link-up", both of the vessels began to spin out of control. He unfortunately was forced to disengage and abort the mission.
Neil Armstrong's most recognized mission of all, however, was his journey to the moon. It was July 20 1969; about 8 years after President Kennedy challenged the US to get a man on the moon. The other astronauts accompanying Armstrong were Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, the 39-year-old Gemini veteran with a doctorate from M.I.T, and Michael Collins, a 39-year-old air force lieutenant colonel.
Once they were three hundred feet above the moon, Armstrong could see that the computer was bringing the Eagle in on a boulder field beyond...