How Apollo 11's Neil Armstrong got to the moon landing's giant leap

CNET | 7/19/2019 | Jon Skillings
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Neil Armstrong in 1964, while in training to be an astronaut. But he was always a pilot.

This story is part of To the Moon, a series exploring humanity's first journey to the lunar surface and our future living and working on the moon.

Thing - Human - Moon - Astronaut - Life

Funny thing about the first human to walk on the moon, the most famous astronaut of all: Earlier in his life, he thought the outstanding achievements in aviation had happened already.

"I was disappointed by the wrinkle in history that had brought me along one generation late," Neil Armstrong told biographer James Hansen. "I had missed all the great times and adventures in flight."

Armstrong - Age - Glory - Days - Charles

Born in 1930, Armstrong came of age after the glory days of Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart, Eddie Rickenbacker and the Red Baron. Fortunately for him, the space age was just about to unfold, and it would lead to the Apollo 11 moon landing mission, with Armstrong serving as commander and making that famous first step.

It's a story documented by Hansen in the 2005 Armstrong biography First Man, the source material for the movie of the same name. Hansen served as a consultant for the movie, which starred Ryan Gosling as Armstrong.

Armstrong - Share - Adventures - Flight - Apollo

Armstrong, who died in 2012, had his share of adventures in flight, even before Apollo. A naval aviator during the Korean War, he flew combat missions off an aircraft carrier, and once was shot down. As a test pilot for NASA and its predecessor, he soared in experimental aircraft, including the rocket-powered X-1B and X-15, the latter of which briefly, and dangerously, slipped out of the atmosphere at the edge of space. He first went into orbit in the Gemini VIII mission -- and had to wrestle an out-of-control spacecraft back into a trajectory that would allow a safe return to Earth.

To mark the 50th...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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