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The United States' Apollo 11
was the first manned mission to land on the Moon, on 20 July 1969.
Neil Alden Armstrong (August 5, 1930 â€“ August 25, 2012) was an American astronaut
and the first person to walk on the Moon.
He was also an aerospace engineer, naval aviator, test pilot, and university professor.
Before becoming an astronaut, Armstrong was an officer in the U.S. Navy and served in the Korean War.
After the war, he earned his bachelor's degree at Purdue University
and served as a test pilot at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics High-Speed Flight Station,
now known as the Dryden Flight Research Center, where he logged over 900 flights.
He later completed graduate studies at the University of Southern California.
A participant in the U.S. Air Force's Man in Space Soonest
and X-20 Dyna-Soar human spaceflight programs, Armstrong joined the NASA Astronaut Corps in 1962.
He made his first space flight, as command pilot of Gemini 8, in 1966,
becoming NASA's first civilian astronaut to fly in space.
On this mission, he performed the first docking of two spacecraft, with pilot David Scott.
Although the official NASA flight plan called for a crew rest period before extra-vehicular activity,
Armstrong requested that the EVA be moved to earlier in the evening, Houston time.
Once Armstrong and Aldrin were ready to go outside, Eagle was depressurized,
the hatch was opened and Armstrong made his way down the ladder first.
At the bottom of the ladder, Armstrong said "I'm going to step off the LEM now"
(referring to the Apollo Lunar Module).
He then turned and set his left boot on the surface at 2:56 UTC July 21, 1969,
then spoke the famous words "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind."
Armstrong prepared his famous epigram on his own.
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