Thank you, Neil Armstrong

A Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation artist's concept depicting mankind's first walk on another celestianl body.

A Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation artist’s concept depicting mankind’s first walk on another celestial body.

When I heard Neil Armstrong had died, my first reaction was to stop walking and reread the text, curse once, and realize I had no more words. He is a hero who lived an amazing life, a long life, and will remain an inspiration as so many past heros have remained. Its *sucks* that we lost his input on our future, but we don’t live forever and he didn’t linger in suffering has so many people do.

As I walked on, I did find myself pissed off by one thing: We are sooooo close to getting back to the Moon. The Google Lunar X-Prize will get rovers walking, roving, or (in my fantasy world) dancing a happy robot dance across the surface of the moon in the not too distant future. (1 or 2 years I’m guessing). Humans won’t be too far behind once the Falcon Heavy is complete. I only wish that Neil could have lived to see it – lived long enough to know the door he opened on off-world human exploration had re-opened with a new generation of explorers getting out and going farther then ever before.

What ever you believe in terms of after life / no after life, I’d ask you to do one simple thing: *Please raise a glass to Neil Armstrong and thank him for opening the sky for all the tomorrows’ explorers.”

Thank you, Neil.

10 Comments

  1. Greg Williams August 25, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    Our club, along with many others, are going to be toasting and celebrating his achievements tonight by sharing the beauty of our nearest neighbor with anybody who would like to join us and look through the eyepiece of a telescope.

    I can not look at a picture of Neil Armstrong without putting him the guise of Apollo from Virgil’s Aeneid and having tell Iulus, “sic itur ad astra” (Thus you shall go to the stars).

    RIP Neil and thank you for the quite inspiration.

  2. Neil Fox August 25, 2012 at 11:02 pm #

    Here is an online memorial to Neil Armstrong – please feel free to light a virtual candle or send
    virtual flowers – http://www.memorialmatters.com/memorials.php?page=NeilArmstrong

  3. John Kav August 26, 2012 at 4:16 am #

    The pantheon of truly Great explorers – There’s Columbus, Captain Cook, Edmund Hillary and Neil Armstrong.

    Rest in peace Neil, I’ll throw you a wink when the moon comes out tonight :)

  4. Kevin Lindsey August 26, 2012 at 6:47 am #

    I thought he’d always be here. When I heard the news, I crawled off to a quiet corner of the house, brought up YouTube, and replayed Walter Cronkite’s coverage of the Apollo 11 liftoff and the moon landing. It made me proud to be human.

  5. brooch August 26, 2012 at 11:10 pm #

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  6. Steve Locher August 27, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

    The passing of Neil Armstrong brought up some strong memories for me – the landing of Apollo 11 is my earliest memory in life. I was only 3 years old, and was supposed to be asleep at the time, but I distinctly recall how infectious the emotions were of everyone around me, so I remember being awake during the landing and watching the event through my bedroom door keyhole which happened to be perfectly lined up with the TV in the family room. True story. I have led a life full of adventure and have never wanted to be anyone else but me, except I was always jealous of Neil Armstrong – to be the first human to set foot on another celestial body must be the greatest moment of adventure of all time. And what little I know of him, I believe that he was a good person and was worthy of that moment. As Pamela stated about it being sad that he never saw humanity return to the moon, I fully agree, and I imagine that he found it sad also that we achieved so much in so little time, only to just stop and not move forward. Thanks to Pamela and her herculean efforts to give all of us a sense of wonder and excitement about the universe and our place in it, and especially thanks for the Moon Mappers project on CosmoQuest which gives us earthbound explorers the chance to explore the moon! Cheers to you, Pamela.

  7. ZZMike September 2, 2012 at 11:57 pm #

    It’s also depressing to realize that the first man to walk on the Moon has died of old age. 43 years is a long time – a significant percentage of the world’s population has been born after July 20, 1969.

    He wasn’t just a brave, courageous explorer (we’ll never know just how brave and courageous), he was a good and decent man who avoided the limelight and let others take the credit.

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