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Remembering Neil Armstrong: Interesting facts about the first man on the moon

Astronaut Neil Armstrong, who has the distinction of being the first human to set foot on the moon passed away on this day two years ago. Armstrong and fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin were the first human beings to walk on the moon's surface. Neil Armstrong's famous epigram, "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind" is etched in everyone's memory even to this day. As a tribute to the legendary man behind the Apollo moon landing, we present a collection of rare facts on his life and career...

Neil Armstrong
Neil Armstrong. Pic/AFP

The date July 20, which marks the Apollo 11 moon landing and Neil Armstrong's 'giant leap' is also significant for another reason. It was on that day in 1936, when a 5-year-old Armstrong experienced his first airplane flight in Warren, Ohio, when he and his father took a ride in a Ford Trimotor, also known as the 'Tin Goose'.

On his 16th birthday, Neil Armstrong earned a student flight certificate. He then soloed later in August; all before he had a driver's license.

In 2013, a popular science website's photo gallery included a picture that Neil Armstrong took of Buzz Aldrin but his own image is visible on Aldrin's helmet as one of the best astronaut selfies.

Pad leader Guenter Wendt presented Neil Armstrong with a crescent moon carved out of Styrofoam on July 16, 1969. Wendt described it as a key to the Moon. In return, Armstrong gave Wendt a ticket for a "space taxi" "good between two planets".

Watch the video of the Apollo 11 EVA below


Video courtesy/ NASA's official YouTube channel

The time spent on EVA during Apollo 11 was about two and a half hours, the shortest of any of the six Apollo lunar landing missions. Armstrong explained in a 2010 interview that NASA limited his moonwalk because they were unsure how the spacesuits would handle the extreme temperature of the Moon.

Recordings of Neil Armstrong's transmission, "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind",  do not evidence the indefinite article "a" before "man", though NASA and Armstrong have maintained for years that static had obscured it. But after repeated listenings to recordings, he eventually admitted to have made that mistake and stated he "would hope that history would grant me leeway for dropping the syllable and understand that it was certainly intended, even if it was not said—although it might actually have been"

A proud former Boy Scout, Neil Armstrong carried his World Scout Badge to the Moon.

In 2010 he voiced the character of Dr. Jack Morrow in Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey, a 2010 animated educational sci-fi adventure film initiated by JPL/NASA through a grant from Jet Propulsion Lab.

Since the early 1980s, Neil Armstrong has been the subject of numeous hoaxes. One hoax  saying that he converted to Islam after hearing the adhan, the Muslim call to prayer, while walking on the moon. The Indonesian singer Suhaemi wrote a song called "Gema Suara Adzan di Bulan" ("The Resonant Sound of the Call to Prayer on the Moon") which described Armstrong's conversion.

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