Sunday, August 26, 2012

RIP Neil Armstrong

Karen: Good-bye to another childhood hero...


Edo Bosnar said...

Saw the news just as it was breaking last night (Central European time). Even though he was getting on in years, I still found it a bit shocking, and quite sad.

Garett said...

There's an excellent documentary called In the Shadow of the Moon from 2007 that interviews the astronauts who went to the moon, and shows great clips from that time. Neil Armstrong unfortunately didn't participate, but the others talk about him and their admiration for him, and you get a good sense of the man.

Michael Collins turns out to be the most entertaining and informative speaker, and Buzz Aldrin and others are involved and tell their stories of the landings and what it meant to their lives. Recommended!

Garett said...

Here's In the Shadow of the Moon on youtube:

Anonymous said...

Farewell Mr Armstrong, you've gone on to your next great adventure, one which all of us must take in the end.

Well, what can I say?. Although not the first man in space (that honour goes to the Soviet Yuri Gagarin), Neil was the first man to actually step foot on the moon. At a time when the Cold War was in full swing, he and Buzz Aldrin accomplished a truly monumental task, one which boggles the mind considering the computing power in that cramped space capsule was less than that found in a single smartphone today.

I watched a small piece in memorium of Neil Armstrong this morning on CNN, and I couldn't help but notice the modesty of the man. If ever there was one person who had cause to toot his own horn, it was Neil Armstrong. Yet, by all accounts he shunned publicity and fanfare. Compare this to many individuals in today's society who seem hellbent on shouting their name and accomplishments to the rooftops.

I think there's a lesson in here somewhere - some of the most influential people in society, ones who have made the biggest changes in our lives are not necessarily the ones who you see everyday on cable TV, reality shows, or in any form of social media. They're the ones who stay in the background, the invisible people whose names we'll never know yet who have enriched our lives for the better.

While this was not the case with Neil Armstrong (he must have known he'd be world famous after that historic moonwalk) , his reluctance to boast about himself is a refreshing change from what we see today.

A local radio announcer wondered if Armstrong's famous 'giant leap for Mankind' quote was scripted or not; to me, it really doesn't matter one way or the other. His legacy and the impact he had on the world are undeniable.

"One small step for man, one giant leap for Mankind" - Neil Armstrong

- Mike from Trinidad & Tobago.

david_b said...

Being up here in Wisconsin, a great astronaut magnet event is our EAA (Experimental Aircraft Assoc.) each year in Oshkosh. Back in '94 for the 25th Anniversary of Apollo 11, they had 20-some of the original astronauts (Merc through Apollo..), most of the attendees having walked on the moon. It was GREAT to have them all up on stage together, with microphones, joshin' each other back and forth as the old fighter pilots they actually were at one time. It was hilarious. Neil, Buzz and Mike from Apollo 11 were there, as were other complete crews.. Just phenominal.

Granted, like Cernan and Aldrin, they were also scientific MIT-types, and the great thing about Neil and Buzz, despite problems afterwards, they remained great spokesmen for a time now gone.

A time when all we had to do was imagine we could accomplish it, and we did.

If you want a GREAT book on manned space flight, you need to read 'Failure is Not An Option' by Gene Kranz, the best book on what all happened on the ground. These guys BUILT the space program from scratch.. No one pulled a book or video out back then on how to get into space. Gene had an **incredible** collection of notes from each flight and vividly recounts them all in a great presentation. Extraordinary detail and captivating attitude. 'Right Stuff' indeed.

By far the best documentary I ever had was 'Moonshot' on VHS, much of it narrated by Barry Corbin using the words of Deke Slayton (who wrote it and passed away during the doc production..), and Alan Shepard. VERY poignant, and much better than the 'When We Left Earth' set (just read the Amazon reviews..). I still have the VHS set (now sans a player..), and wish they'd put it on DVD.

I will miss Neil.. As this is the time in all our lives when a lot of our childhood heroes, both real and favorite characters on television, will leave us. As I did with Peter Tork, Barry Morse and Russell Johnson over the last decade, if you happen to meet one of your heroes in their later years, thank the 'bejeebers' out of 'em. You'll never regret it.

As David Tennant warmly said as he bid farewell to Peter Davison in Doctor Who's 'Timecrash'..: "All my love to long ago.."

J.A. Morris said...

A true hero, here's a funny SNL short film from 2000 about Neil Armstrong that imagines what life would be like for one who walked on the moon. Directed by Adam McKay of 'Anchorman' and 'Talladega Nights' fame.

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