One Giant Step

RIP:

Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, has died, his family said Saturday. He was 82.

“We are heartbroken to share the news that Neil Armstrong has passed away following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures,” Armstrong’s family said in a statement obtained by CNN affiliate WKRC.

Armstrong underwent heart surgery this month.

“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,” his family said.

Armstrong did not maintain as high a profile as many of the Mercury/Gemini/Apollo astronauts, preferring to spend his time teaching and raising his family. But I remember, on the 25th anniversary, his expressing disappointment with our lack of follow-through on Apollo.

Armstrong was much more than “spam in a can”. His quick thinking saved Gemini 8, he ejected from the “flying bedstead” practice lander moments before it crashed and his skilled piloting kept the Apollo 11 lander from smashing into a huge unforeseen rock that was in the flight path — a real-life lunar lander video game. We are extremely fortunate to have been blessed with such men. And I hope we will one day again have a space program worthy of their legacy.

Update: More from Phil Plait. He wonders if we should have a holiday for Armstrong. I wouldn’t go that far (and he would have opposed it). I think we have enough holidays already. But I do think July 20 should recognized, maybe as Astronaut Day or something. Landing on the moon is the greatest achievement in human history.

Comments are closed.

  1. Mississippi Yankee

    Update: More from Phil Plait. He wonders if we should have a holiday for Armstrong. I wouldn’t go that far (and he would have opposed it). I think we have enough holidays already.

    COMMUNIST!

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  2. West Virginia Rebel

    Neil Armstrong showed that it could be done.

    For all its faults, there are still some things that NASA can do very well (Curiosity being one of the latest examples.) The main complaints about the Moon program were its cost, and IMO the lack of a clearly defined “What do we do now” goal.

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  3. Seattle Outcast

    I’m waiting for some asshole to weigh in and say either of the following:

    1) It was all faked

    2) We shouldn’t be wasting money on space exploration when there are still people going hungry

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  4. repmom

    I’m waiting for some asshole to weigh in and say either of the following:

    I’m waiting on the day that you actually post a positive comment.

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  5. mrblume

    The universe is probably littered with the one-planet graves of cultures which made the sensible economic decision that there’s no good reason to go into space–each discovered, studied, and remembered by the ones who made the irrational decision.

    http://xkcd.com/893/

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  6. Seattle Outcast

    I’m waiting on the day that you actually post a positive comment.

    Then you should start paying attention more often….

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  7. Section8

    Sad to hear. A true modern day pioneer.

    And I hope we will one day again have a space program worthy of their legacy.

    Agreed. This is one of the few Federal programs I think we could benefit from dumping more money into; however, given how we’ve grown technologically as a species in such a short time is something to be very proud of even if we might have slow periods from time to time. I mean the planet goes from nearly zero advances in technology over billions of years to viewing and having a pretty decent understanding of some of the smallest objects and particles in the universe as well as the most distant in just a few decades. That’s pretty damn good.

    And of course, there are other countries putting in the effort. We need to start putting in more again.

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  8. repmom

    I’m waiting on the day that you actually post a positive comment.

    Then you should start paying attention more often….

    I think I already do, and find your comments to be consistently negative and hateful, but would love for you to point me in the direction of a recent comment by you that proves me wrong.

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  9. Seattle Outcast

    This is a political blog, and, by nature, most comments will be about politics that irritate people. Generally speaking, the best you are going to be able to hope for here on a daily basis is a few neutral comments mixed in with the “go fuck yourself”, “these people need to die”, and the general irritation at trolls like CM and Moogoo.

    If you want to see me happy, friend me on Facebook. There you will see my dog getting his belly rubbed, pictures from my vacations, and me getting pranked at work the day I come back from medical leave to get my back fixed (4.5 hours on the table with a neurosurgeon). My back brace now has a 12″ “My Little Pony” taped to it.

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  10. repmom

    Point taken, SO. I’ll try to stay off your case.

    And I’ll take your word for it concerning your Facebook.

    And thumbs up for a decent, civil reply.

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  11. HARLEY

    If you want to see me happy, friend me on Facebook. There you will see my dog getting his belly rubbed, pictures from my vacations, and me getting pranked at work the day I come back from medical leave to get my back fixed (4.5 hours on the table with a neurosurgeon). My back brace now has a 12″ “My Little Pony” taped to it.

    I find that hard to believe…

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  12. JimK

    I find that hard to believe…

    That SO is happy & friendly on FB or that he is a My Little Pony addict. OMG ARE YOU A BRONY, SO? OMG YOU ARE.

    I…have no words. ;)

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  13. Seattle Outcast

    Only a real man can be a Brony, or even pretend for a day.

    And I can’t be blackmailed either; as soon as they taped in on I had a coworker use my phone to take a picture I could post on Facebook.

    Now, if I actually had the slightest clue about the name of the pony in question….

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  14. Seattle Outcast

    I find that hard to believe…

    The massive surgery to repair my back or that gladly particpate in office pranks?

    I had the latest and greatest to fix a spondylolithesis at L5/S1 resulting in a pinched sciatic nerve (right side). Replacement disc, bone graft, spinal column pulled back into place, fusion of L5/S1, and some steel to replace the missing bone on my L5 vertabrae.

    The steroids are done with at the moment, but still taking oxycodone in the morning to deal with the residual nerve pain from left sciatic nerve not really enjoying being made to go back where it belonged.

    Didn’t you guys notice I sort of vanished for a couple of weeks as I slept 16 hours a day and ate pain pills like candy?

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  15. blameme

    SO, I am sorry to hear about all that. I hope you feel better soon.

    I would say that I would pray for you, but I don’t want you hunting me down. ;)

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  16. Dave D

    Didn’t you guys notice I sort of vanished for a couple of weeks as I slept 16 hours a day and ate pain pills like candy?

    Well, no? I keed, I keed!

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  17. HARLEY

    damm dude, you should have said something…. it was the lil pony thing that got me!.. never imagined you as a praker either.,

    Get well my friend…
    As for the steroid shots, yeah i just got a double one today in both knees…

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  18. Seattle Outcast

    Going along with office pranks is generally pretty easy as long as they aren’t mean spirited. That shit I won’t put up with.

    Letting one of my coworkers, who is a big MLP fan, out me a make-believe Brony is good for a few yucks.

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  19. Seattle Outcast

    Wow! He does exist (as a decent dude)!

    You are all now sworn to secrecy, or I will hunt you down with the “great tube of thwacking”….

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