When Neil Armstrong was two years old he loved going to the Airport to watch the planes take off and land. He got so excited just watching. When he was five years old he pretended that he was hovering over his bed. He wanted to fly! He loved airplanes and at six years old he had his first airplane ride. He was so smart in school that they moved him from second grade into third grade because he was reading at a fifth grade level.
Every airplane book he got his hands on he read. He always liked building model airplanes.
When Neil was in high school he worked in the Chemistry lab. In his basement he made a wind tunnel. And on the roof of his garage he built an observatory where he had telescopes to look at the moon and the stars. He learned so much and was so excited that he couldn’t wait to fly. He worked in a pharmacy to pay for his flying lessons.
When he was only sixteen years old he got his pilots license!
He graduated high school and went to Perdue University on a US Navy scholarship. He learned everything he could about planes and rockets. After college graduation he was a pilot in the Korean War. After the war he went back to Perdue to learn even more. He became a test pilot for experimental X-15 rocket planes which flew to the end of the earth’s atmosphere. He didn’t want to stop there, he wanted to just keep on going. So in 1962 when NASA was taking applications for astronauts he applied and was accepted.
His first mission was on Gemini 8. He and David Scott orbited the earth three times and docked with the Agena. There was a problem with the rocket rolling, but Neil Armstrong didn’t get scared and they were able to stop the rolling and return to earth. He was on Gemini 11 and then on Apollo 10. Apollo 10 was launched from Cape Kennedy, orbited the moon, and came within ten miles of the moons surface.
On July 16,1969 Apollo 11 blasted off with Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin Aldrin. On July 20,1969 they landed on the moon! Over 600 million people were listening when they said “The Eagle has landed.” They were asked to eat and rest. After eating, the crew of Apollo 11 couldn’t wait to set foot on the moon. They begged Houston to let them out early and Houston said O.K.
Each man put on space suits that contained a backpack for a portable life-support system (PLSS). With the PLSS it was like each man was his own miniature spacecraft. When Neil Armstrong opened the hatch and stepped onto the moon he said, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” But his words sounded a little fuzzy and they didn’t hear him say a man and everyone thinks he said” That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Over 600 million people listened and saw man land on the moon. For Neil Armstrong this was a dream come true. He achieved his goal and got a place in history forever!
When Neil Armstrong landed on earth he didn’t want people to make such a big deal over him. He wanted to have a plain normal life with his family. He went back to Nasa and continued to work with the space program. As he got older he stopped working and no one really knows where he is now.
I think that it was a little weird for Neil Armstrong to want to be so private. He had such a great life and accomplished so much. I look up to him because he was so smart in school and he tried so hard to make his dream come true. I think that it must have been hard for him to take that first step onto the moon. He must have been scared wondering if he would sink in as some scientists thought might happen. He was very brave to step onto the moon.
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