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Armstrong, Neil (Alden)(1930– ) astronaut, educator, business executive; born in Wapakoneta, Ohio. A U.S. Navy pilot during the Korean War (1949–52), he was a civilian test pilot before joining the astronaut program in 1962. He was the command pilot of the Gemini 8 flight that effected the first successful docking of two vehicles in space. As commander of the Apollo 11 lunar mission, he entered history as the first human being to walk on the moon (July 20, 1969), but afterwards he avoided most public appearances and all attempts to treat him as a hero. He worked for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) until 1971, then became a professor of engineering at the University of Cincinnati (1971–79); he went on to become chairman of CTA Inc. (1982), a computer systems company, and continued to avoid the limelight.
Born Aug. 5, 1930, in Wapakoneta, Ohio. U. S. aviator and astronaut; naval officer. Graduated from Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana (1955), with a specialization in aeronautical engineering.
Armstrong served in naval units and then at the Lewis research center as a test pilot. He tested jet planes, including the experimental X-15 rocket plane. From 1962 on, he was on the team of astronauts of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the USA. On Mar. 16, 1966, he made a space flight (along with D. Scott) as command pilot of the spacecraft Gemini 8. The flight lasted ten hours and 40 minutes (seven orbits around the earth).
Armstrong made the historic first flight to the moon with E. Aldrin and M. Collins, from July 16 to 24,1969, serving as commander of the spacecraft Apollo 11. A lunar module with Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the moon in the area of the Sea of Tranquility on July 20, 1969. Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon (July 21, 1969); he spent two hours, 21 minutes and 16 seconds outside the spacecraft. After successfully completing its program, the crew of Apollo II returned to earth.