U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong, who became first to walk on the moon as commander of Apollo 11 space flight on July 20, 1969, has died at the age of 82, his family said on Saturday.
Armstrong died following complications from heart-bypass surgery he underwent earlier this month.
As commander of the Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon. As he stepped on the moon's surface, he radioed back the famous line, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
|Space pioneer: Neil Armstrong poses for a NASA portrait ahead of the historic 1969 Apollo 11 mission (source: www.dailymail.co.uk)|
|All smiles: In 2011, Armstrong offered his testimony before a House committee hearing on NASA Human Spaceflight Past, Present and Future in Washington (source: www.dailymail.co.uk)|
Below is a statement from his family:
“We are heartbroken to share the news that Neil Armstrong has passed away following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures.
“Neil was our loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend.
“Neil Armstrong was also a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job. He served his Nation proudly, as a navy fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut. He also found success back home in his native Ohio in business and academia, and became a community leader in Cincinnati.
“He remained an advocate of aviation and exploration throughout his life and never lost his boyhood wonder of these pursuits.
“As much as Neil cherished his privacy, he always appreciated the expressions of good will from people around the world and from all walks of life.
“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.
“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.”
Watch the video of the very first moon landing of the Apollo 11 mission in 1969 courtesy of YouTube and beanz2u:
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