Neil Armstrong Wanted A Sea Burial.
Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, will be buried at sea as he wished. A family spokesman says no other details on the timing or the location of the burial are available.
Apollo astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon when he set his foot down in an area known as the Sea of Tranquility. Now his body will be returned back to the sea here on Earth in a private ceremony.
Armstrong died Aug. 25 in Ohio after complications from recent heart surgery, he was 82. A family spokesman said the family will honor the former Navy fighter pilot, and Apollo 11 commander’s wishes for a burial at sea. No other details on the timing or location of the burial were available and may not be released. The U.S. Navy has strict guide lines on the burial at sea process with San-Diego Calif. and Norfolk Va. the only two U.S. ports to handle the full casket service. However, other U.S. ports can handle the scattering of ashes.
For the public, a memorial service is scheduled at the Washington National Cathedral located in the nation’s capitol on Thursday, Sept. 13 beginning at 10 a.m. EDT. The service will be broadcast live on NASA Television and streamed on the websites of the cathedral and space agency. It will be open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. But reservations must be made through NASA. (Source: America Space: Julian Leek)
In addition to Armstrong family members, many dignitaries, including NASA personnel and political leaders are set to attend, though the only confirmed, high-profile attendee at this time is NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. The event will be streamed live on both NASA TV and the National Cathedral’s website.
According to NASA, a ‘very limited’ number of seats will be available for members of the public. Neil Armstrong was born on August 5, 1930 in Wapakoneta, Ohio and, from childhood, was fascinated by aviation, taking a first plane ride at age 6 and becoming a licensed pilot at 16, before he even earned his driver’s license.
Looking to made a career of his obsession, Armstrong enrolled in college to study aeronautical engineering, but was called to duty as a Navy pilot in 1949. Armstrong would go on to fly 78 combat missions in the Korean War. After war’s end, Armstrong resumed his education and would eventually earn a master’s degree before becoming a test pilot.
The course of Armstrong’s life changed forever in 1962 when he was accepted into the newly-formed NASA’s astronaut corps. Armstrong commanded the Gemini 8 mission, safely bringing the capsule back to Earth in an emergency landing situation created by an faulty thruster. Armstrong would later serve as backup commander for Apollo 8 before getting the position to command Apollo 11, which was set to be America’s first attempt at a Moon landing.
On July 20, 1969, just over 3 days after liftoff, Armstrong guided the Eagle lander to the Moon’s surface, fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin along for the ride. In a little known fact, Armstrong had difficulty in landing, touching down with only a few seconds of fuel left to spare. After taking his “giant leap for mankind,” Armstrong and Aldrin would spend about 3 hours on the lunar surface, planting the American flag, collecting samples, and taking pictures.
In all, Armstrong and Aldrin spent about 21 hours on the Moon’s surface before rejoining the command module, piloted by Michael Collins, and returning to Earth a celebrity. See also: NASA biography
However, unlike many other astronauts, Armstrong kept a low profile after his historic flight, leaving NASA in 1971 in order to teach and farm. Armstrong rarely gave press interviews, choosing to remain in the background and avoid the limelight. When, in 2010, Armstrong, along with many other astronauts from the 1960s spoke out to voice concern with NASA’s direction under President Obama, namely the cancellation of the Constellation Program, people took notice, though no change in policy came as a result. Source: Examiner
Neil Armstrong’s Visor and Gloves
You see those gloves? Those gloves grasped the lunar ladder as Neil Armstrong hopped down to the moon’s surface on July 20, 1969. Tinged with blue silicon rubber fingertips to help Armstrong feel his way, those gloves carried experiments, and tools, and touched Moon dust. They were the first gloves used while walking on the Moon.
They’ve been in storage for more than a decade. But right now — for at least the next two weeks — they are sitting in a special display case at the Smithsonian’s airport annex in Washington. The National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is showing them to the public in honour of Armstrong, who died at the age of 82 on Aug. 25.
Oh yeah, and you can also check out the helmet that Neil Armstrong used as he described the lunar surface to millions of awe-struck listeners on live television. (The gold-plated visor he used on the surface is not being lowered again due to concerns about damaging it, but it’s inside the helmet.) No big deal.
“Yes, the surface is fine and powdery. I can kick it up loosely with my toe. It does adhere in fine layers, like powdered charcoal, to the sole and sides of my boots. I only go in a small fraction of an inch, maybe an eighth of an inch, but I can see the footprints of my boots and the treads in the fine, sandy particles.”
Photos by Dane Penland, courtesy of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
- Neil Armstrong: Barack Obama under pressure to grant state funeral (telegraph.co.uk)
- Quotes reacting to the death of Neil Armstrong (metronews.ca)
- Throw-Away Photographs Shot During Neil Armstrong’s Visit to the Moon (petapixel.com)