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Neil Armstrong Timeline

Manali Oak Mar 9, 2020
Neil Armstrong's timeline given below unfolds some of the important events in this icon's life. Come along as we walk you through Armstrong's life and give you some interesting facts and trivia about him.
He has served the United States Navy, he has worked as a test pilot, he has been an aerospace engineer and astronaut, best known for his flight to the moon. He is Neil Armstrong.
On August 5 1930, Neil Armstrong was born to Stephen and Viola Engel Armstrong. He was a student of Blume High School. At a young age of six, he took his first plane ride in a Tin Goose.
He completed his schooling in 1947 and started studying aeronautical engineering in Purdue University. In 1955, he earned a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering from Purdue.
Armstrong chose to work at Lewis Field. He began working in February 1955. During his tenure at Lewis field, on March 22, 1956 Armstrong was given the responsibility of payload release of a B-29 Superfortress.
On August 15, 1957 Armstrong took his first flight in a rocket plane in the Bell X-1B, to a height of 18.3 kilometers.
In November 1960, Armstrong was selected as one of the pilot consultants for a military space plane called X-20 Dyna-Soar.
In one of his speeches in 1961, President Kennedy announced that they would land a man from USA on moon. And a new journey had begun - a journey that would redefine history.


1966: Took his first space flight on Gemini 8
1969, July 21: Became the first moon walker
1970: Was awarded Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophy
1978: Was awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor
2011: Was honored with the Congressional Gold Medal
  • In September 1962, Armstrong became America's first nonmilitary astronaut.
  • On March 15 that year he was enlisted in the six pilot-engineers who would fly the space plane once it was ready.
  • On April 20 that year, he met with an accident during his X-15 flight. Somehow he managed to land safely.
  • On May 21, 1962, Armstrong was a part of the "Nellis Affair". He was sent in a F-104 to examine Delamar Lake, for emergency landings.
It was declared that Armstrong would be the Command Pilot for Gemini 8 and that he would be accompanied by Pilot David Scott. In 1966, he was aboard Gemini 8. This was his first space flight.
In January 1969, Armstrong was chosen as the commander of Apollo 11 for NASA's moon-landing mission. On July 16 that year he, with astronauts Edwin Aldrin and Michael Collins left the Kennedy Space Center and embarked upon their journey to the moon. On July 20, 1969 they landed on the lunar surface.
✦ Neil Armstrong was the first man to step on the moon. He set his left foot on the lunar surface at 2.56 UTC on July 21, 1969. Armstrong stepped first, Aldrin followed, while Collins remained in orbit. He never set his foot on the moon.
✦ After stepping on the moon's surface, Armstrong said, "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind". Armstrong and Aldrin spent nearly 2 hours on the lunar surface. They examined the soil, conducted a few experiments and set up the American flag on moon.
✦ On July 24, 1969 they returned. They were given a grand welcome and were hailed as heroes for their exceptional feat.

✦ Armstrong won the Presidential Medal for Freedom and the Robert J. Collier Trophy that year.
✦ In 1970, he was honored with the Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophy. In May 1970, Armstrong went to the Soviet Union to speak on Space Research, at the 13th annual conference of the International Committee.
Around the same year, he also earned his master's in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California.

✦ He resigned from NASA in 1971 and started working at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio.

✦ Seven years later in 1978, he was given the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.
✦ In 1980 Armstrong became the chairman of Cardwell International, a supplier of oil-drilling equipment.

✦ In 1986 he became the vice-chairman of Challenger inquiry to find the cause of explosion of the Challenger space shuttle.

✦ He later worked with the EDO Corporation.
✦ He retired from the post of Chairman of Board, from the EDO Corporation in 2002.

✦ In October 2004, Purdue University announced that they would be naming their new engineering building as Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering.
✦ Armstrong's authorized biography titled First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong was published in 2005.

✦ Quite often the press used to ask Armstrong about the future of space flights. In his opinion, the mission of a man on Mars would be less challenging than lunar landing.
✦ In 2011, Armstrong, John Glenn, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins were honored with the Congressional Gold Medal.

✦ On August 25, 2012, Armstrong died of complications from a heart surgery he had undergone earlier in the month.


✦ Neil Armstrong was a bright student with an inclination towards science and math. Other subjects that interested him included astronomy and cosmology.

✦ During childhood, he had motion sickness.
✦ Wright Brothers are said to have inspired Armstrong. As a kid he took interest in building model airplanes.

✦ Armstrong had a pilot's license at the age of 16 even before obtaining a driver's license.
✦ On January 28, 1956 he married Janet Elizabeth Shearon, who studied with him in Purdue. They had three children, Alan, Karen and Mark. In 1962, Karen succumbed to brain tumor.

✦ In 1994, Armstrong divorced Janet and married Carol Knight who was 15 years younger to him.
✦ Armstrong was troubled when Hallmark Cards used one of his quotes in a Christmas ornament without his permission. He sued them in 1994.
✦ In May 2005, Armstrong had a strange fight with his barber who had sold his hair after cutting them and made money in his name.
✦ A crater on the moon, located near the Apollo 11 landing site is named after Armstrong.
✦ There was a small controversy over the first words spoken by Armstrong after landing on moon. There was a debate over whether he had used 'a' before 'man' or not. Initially Armstrong denied having made such a mistake. But on listening to the recording multiple times, he accepted the mistake. He also clarified saying that the syllable was intended though not uttered. So much over a small word!
✦ Neil Armstrong, despite the stardom, chose to stay away from media spotlight.
Later in life even when he was not directly associated with NASA, he took keen interest in astronomy and was deeply concerned about the future of space exploration. It was this field which had paved his way to success and made him what he was best known as - the first man to set foot on moon.
With his death, the world lost a great astronaut and an equally great human being. He has left behind a legacy that can never be forgotten. He shall continue to inspire generations.
Six days after Armstrong's death, on August 31, a Blue Moon occurred. Was nature paying a tribute to the first man who landed on moon? The world took a moment that night to look up at the sky and remember that man who stands as tall as the stars - Neil Armstrong.