Duncan Lunan, an astronomy and space educator, says that aside from his outstanding achievements as an X-15 pilot and an astronaut, including the near-disasters of Gemini 8 and the ‘flying bedstead’ lunar simulator, Neil Armstrong should be remembered for his sense of humor. “When accused of being just a cog in the machine, he replied, ‘No, if I’m strapped in my seat and the instruments tell me I’m twenty feet outside the cockpit, I’ll believe ten, but not all twenty.’ When asked what personal items he would carry in his Preference Kit, he replied, ‘If I had the choice, I’d take more fuel.’ And he was prophetic when it came to the close shave of the actual landing,” Lunan recalls.
Nick Fuhrman, an aerospace technology expert, says that perhaps the only thing Neil Armstrong feared in his heroic life was the risk of America losing the know-how and nerve that was amassed to achieve the Apollo lunar landings. “I never heard Neil say anything remotely political, but his willingness to part with his cherished privacy in recent years was due to this concern,” he notes.
Second Row, a management consultant, says that many people think of Neil Armstrong as the first man to set foot on the moon only, but he means much more than just that. “Armstrong’s life was peppered with amazing achievements, far too many to list here. Moreover, he gave NASA a face for people to remember and look up to. Gauging NASA’s success requires a metric that is more qualitative than quantitative. You can calculate the price of the missions and measure distances traveled. But, you can’t put a price on the inspiration that space exploration provides. Neil Armstrong and the Apollo missions allow us to dream of pushing the limits of our understanding of our solar system. Walking on the moon wasn’t NASA’s or even Armstrong’s end goal—it was the beginning of an era,” he says.
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