Neil Armstrong, first man on moon died at 82
The first man to explore his feet to moon, Neil Armstrong, died at the age of
82, his family said. US President Barack Obama said he was "among the greatest
of American heroes".
"We are heartbroken to share the news that Neil Armstrong has passed away following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures," Xinhua quoted the family as saying in a statement Saturday.
Though, they did not say anything about where Armstrong died.
The statement described the American astronaut "a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job", the statement said: "He served his nation proudly, as a navy fighter pilot, test pilot and astronaut."
Armstrong, who landed on the moon July 20, 1969 by taking the Apollo 11 spacecraft is best remembered for saying: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
Armstrong along with his fellow American astronaut Buzz Aldrin during their voyage to moon spent two and a half hours walking on the moon, collecting samples, conducting experiments and taking photographs, while astronaut Michael Collins remained in orbit in the command module.
Condoling the death of Armstrong, Obama quoted him a man "among the greatest of American heroes - not just of his time, but of all time".
"When Neil stepped foot on the surface of the moon for the first time, he delivered a moment of human achievement that will never be forgotten," Obama said in a statement.
Charles Bolden , NASA administrator also praised Armstrong and said he will be remembered for "taking humankind's first small step on a world beyond our own".
"As we enter this next era of space exploration, we do so standing on the shoulders of Neil Armstrong," Bolden said in a statement.
Armstrong was born Aug 5, 1930, in Wapakoneta, Ohio and served the US Navy and joined the Korean War prior to becoming an astronaut.
After the war, he worked as a test pilot at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics High Speed Flight Station.
He left NASA after one year of the Apollo 11 mission and joined University of Cincinnati as a professor of engineering.
-With inputs from IANS
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