Flying was a major part of his life from the age of six when he took his first flight with his father, all the way up to that landing on the moon and beyond. In many ways he was the embodiment of everything that was best in the U.S. NASA space program and deserved the honors he received while alive and the tributes since his death on Saturday.
Like more than five hundred million others, I was one of the lucky ones who saw that “one small step”. I was only six, but my parents allowed me to stay up way past my regular bedtime to see it live. After all these years I still remember the excitement and sense of awe as Armstrong descended the steps, touched the moon’s surface and spoke his famous line.
Imagine the immensity of that moment:a person, someone just like you or me, actually standing on the surface of another planet! Even at the age of six I understood how special that was. It captivated as it did countless others and was one of the key events that drove my love of space, astronomy, physics, and science as a whole. From that day I, like humanity, would never be the same again.
Neil Armstrong changed everything. My respect to him, his family,and all the other astronauts who showed just how far we, as a species, can reach. As I look around it’s clear that now, more than ever, we need similar people to reach even further.