dies at age 82 the first man to walk on the moon.
Astronaut Neil Armstrong, the man who uttered the iconic words "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," has died at the age of 82.
The first man on the moon devoted his life to discovery and service. He served as a test pilot and naval aviator, however he is most remembered for his role as a pioneer of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. As one of the first NASA astronauts, he paved the way for military and civilian space exploration.
From gliders to rockets, Armstrong piloted over 200 different types aircraft.
During his work with NASA, he devoted much of research to developing high speed flight, including the X-15 aircraft, which recorded a record-setting top speed of 4,520 miles per hour.
But the spirit of Armstrong's work ethic can be summed up in a phrase he said before becoming the first man to step on the moon:
"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
Armstrong received many awards throughout his career, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the highest civilian award in the United States. He was also one of the first recipients of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.
His honors, however, extend far beyond the boards of the United States.
As the first man to step on the surface of another planet, the lunar crater that Armstrong's mission, Apollo 11, landed near is named in his honor. At the time of his death, he had received honors from 17 different countries for his aviation research and development.
"I believe that every human has a finite number of heartbeats, and I don't intend to waste any of mine," Armstrong was quoted.
Neil Allen Armstrong was born on August 5, 1930 in Wapakoneta, OH.
After graduating from Purdue University with a degree in aeronautical engineering and receiving a master's degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California, Armstrong joined the armed services.
In 1949, he began serving as a naval aviator. However in 1952 he began a career as a test pilot. It was then that he was selected to become a member of the astronaut corps with the newly-formed National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
His first space flight cam in 1966 when he served as a crew member aboard Gemini 8. The mission was the first time two space vehicles docked together.
Three years later, Armstrong became the commander of the famed Apollo 11 mission. Armstrong, along with his partner Buzz Aldrin, went down in history as being the first men to touch down on the surface of another planet.
After being the first man to walk on the surface of the moon, he explored its surface for 2.5 hours.
Armstrong left NASA soon after in 1971. He accepted a faculty position at the University of Cincinnati to teach aerospace engineering.
After retiring from the university in 1979, Armstrong assumed a position on the National Commission on Space from 1985 for two years. Afterwards, he investigated the space shuttle Challenger explosion.
Armstrong fell out of the public eye towards the end of his life, living silently in Ohio with his wife, Carol Held Knight.
Armstrong had three children with his first wife, Janet Shearon. He is survived by his two sons, Eric and Mark. His daughter, Karen, died of pneumonia in 1962.