RIP Neil Armstrong

Slogger Chris Loughrey has alerted me to the news of Neil Armstrong’s death at the age of 82 following cardiovascular complications.

Just as with Churchill (whom I admire for his courage in dealing with manic depression) I count Neil Armstrong as a personal hero for his astonishing discretion, moral values, and unwillingness to profit in any way from heroism.

His life represented one small step for mankind. But his death is a giant loss to the human voyager tendency.

36 thoughts on “RIP Neil Armstrong

    • Apparently Neil Armstrong’s footprints will take 7 million years to erode from the surface of the moon, I wonder whether mankind will still be in existance?

  1. The universe takes Neil and lets José Manuel Barroso remain alive. Life truly isn’t fair.

    Thanks Mr Armstrong, your example is one of stellar accomplishments complemented by unparalleled humility. An inspiration to us all.

  2. Armstrong’s modesty and humility should serve as an example to the chav ‘celebrities’ who could never fill his footprints, be they earth or moon-bound.

    R.I.P. – a true hero to our generation.

  3. Well, well, well! Its always a shame when somebody dies and leaves behind saddened relatives.
    Was Neil Armstrong a great man? One whose warranted 1-1/2 hours solid of say nothing coverage on Sky, with appalling repetitive gushing from a space writer? a 15-minute say-even-less mumble from Buzz Aldrin’s wife – a woman with no knowledge or interest in space travel – as we discovered about 10 minutes into the ultimately pointless interview – and who became Mrs Buzz Aldrin the 3rd some 20 years after hubby Buzzy returned from neither piloting the mooncraft nor being the one to mangle the script about a small step — and a giant leap?
    JW’s brief commemoration I can take. But Mudplugger, Chris Loughrey, True_Belle, perleeeese.
    Neil Armstrong, doubtless (by all accounts) a brave and skilled pilot – rather like the Easyjet Captain who recently put me down so smoothly on the moonscape of Schönefeld airport.

    • My wife – far more sentimental than I – actually went to bed rather than suffer the repeated mawkishness. Her view: anybody would think it was God who had died.
      Neil Armstrong, modest and unassuming as I am quite prepared to beieve he was, can celebrate the fact that he was not around to witness his appalling tele-send-off.

      • I’m with Mrs ITG. But the issue wasn’t the man himself. Like the Jubilee the problem was with the coverage.

    • So , it appears you are some one born from a more recent unappreciative generation . No sense of wonderment or adventure- nothing to marvel and enthuse about – but gadgeted up out of your tiny brain –

      If I were the Easyjet Captain , I would have ordered doors to manual and jettisoned you off the aircraft..

      • +1.

        @int: if that’s what you think Neil Armstrong was, an airline pilot, then I’m not surprised you aren’t moved by his death. It’s obvious you have basically no idea who he was or why he is so well thought of. TBH I’m not sure why gives you the right to tell other people how they should feel or react to what, for me, was news I found very sad.

        From your cynical and negative attitude I’m thinking it’s likely that nobody will be talking about you in such glowing terms when you shuffle off your mortal coil. ;)

      • True Belle – why so ungenerous and personal? My tiny brain can gadget up more inspiring ways to deploy the vast space budget than ensuring “we” the West rather than “they” the Commies got to plant a flag. .
        As for being from a more recent generation … would that it were so.
        BTW, I suspect that if you had been sitting next to me on Easyjet, I might have beaten the pilot to his “doors to manual” command.

    • @ITG The issue is about what Armstrong represented to a generation – a generation which was learning that almost anything was possible, a time of burgeoning technology and wonder, where there seemed to be no limits to where we could go or what we could do.
      OK, we later realised it’s not quite so simple, but Armstrong was a key touchstone of that ‘age of wonder’, gaining global celebrity personally, yet avoiding all the post-event limelight, living out his quiet and modest life on his own terms.

      His passing further diminishes the remaining wonder which those of us who remember those halcyon days still retain. Perhaps that is what we are really mourning, as much as for this one man.

      • Mudplugger – you are right. It’s what Armstrong represented to a generation (to be accurate a part of a generation). My comments were a swift outpouring of disgust at the obscenely arse-licking and pointless coverage on SKY of his passing. An unoviously UNwelcome contribution in the spirit of this blog.RobinB below has it right: “I think JW nailed it in his reference to the way Armstrong conducted himself after the great event.”

  4. Anyone who has seen earthrise for real is bound to be humbled at the beauty. The vastness of the cosmos should be enough to silence anyone.

    Nerves of steel, too, to get that Lunar module down when he had to override the autopilot with almost no fuel left. My heart was with them every step of the way as I watched that day.

    But to Armstrong? Almost like another day in the office. Amazing.

    • I was wondering how long it would be before we got the alternative view. Never mind, Disclosure etc suggest we should by now have the appropriate technology to get there- if allowed by those nasty greys.

    • Erika – I fear that the display of remorseless logic available on that site will not be universally popular…

      Whatever else Neil Armstrong may have found himself caught up in, he was still a brave pilot. For that alone he should be remembered.

    • @Erika
      Can any of us be surprised that it was you who brought to our attention this most wonderous piece of enlightenment. If you try hard – you might even find a few Tubes about these major conspiracies to hoodwink the world and thus we will be forever in your debt for providing us all with such enlightening information………………oh dear, oh dear, oh dear !

  5. I agree JW Armstrong was also a personal hero of mine. I’m sad that I never had the chance to meet him. I once asked his crew mate Buzz if a coin flip was involved in deciding who was the first down the ladder, he said ” no but I did suggest two ladders” I’m glad there was just one ladder and that Neil was on it.

  6. R.I.p old chap you did a great service to the American dream.
    I Remember age 10 watching the moon landings on tv as it were yesterday. Indeed it was the inspiration that directed me to a 3@5 year career in engineering and physics. It is lucky he survived as long as he did given the massive radiation doses from cosmic rays he was subjected to during his missions.

  7. I was fortunate enough to embarass another moon astronaut, Ed Mitchell of Apollo 15, into having dinner some other British software types and myself in Barceclona where he was the keynote speaker at the first world software congress.

    He was delightful and a great advert for the USA and I remember him saying modestly that the astronauts were not chosen for their great intellect but their ability to execute orders precisely.

    His most compelling story, of the many he regalled us with for over 3 hours, was about how Houston saved Apollo 13 after sloppy systems design had assumed that if the combination of events that had occurred to cause the crisis had occurred Appollo 13 would have been destroyed, so they had to simulate and execute safe strategies in the 20 minute window that they estimated the rocket had before it would fail totally initially (they increased this window he said up to 60 minutes by the time they landed).

    Of course I got his autograph for my daughters, I was that pushy and insensitive.

  8. The men that flew the Apollo missions certainly deserve the title of a hero: A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life.
    (from thefreedictionary.com)

    Pretty much sums-up all of the Apollo astronauts, but those first three men really had balls of steel!

  9. I agree Neil was a gentle gentleman. I just do not believe in the ‘moon landing’. Sorry folks. My Father, told us that the reason for Neil’s silence in gving scientifc details and account of the actual landing were too vague to be taken seriously. And his silence was because his pride and sense of duty would not allow him to speak up. I still admire the man for his input in the ‘space programme’. But I cannot praise him for landing a craft on the Moon and then getting and navigating a smaller craft off the moon. Perhaps the coverage was in line with those thoughts.

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