RIP Neil Armstrong 1930-2012
I wanted to write a whole piece about this man but just couldn't find the right words. I love those two pictures of him because they show Neil Armstrong as a man of humour, humility and humanity. He was an 'everyman' (if you'll excuse the male emphasis). He was both lucky to be in the right place for this mission but was also the perfect choice. Calm, steady and cool headed but not without passion or poetry.
He remains my Hero of the 20th Century not for himself but for the scientific achievement he represented; the culmination of an endeavour that while conceived in the politics of the Cold War ultimately united the world in admiration. For those of us that grew up after Apollo 11 the indelible reality is that we are now a space-faring race, and we belong amongst the stars.
"...we can divide all of history into two parts: before humans landed on the Moon, and after. It was not just an important moment, it was the moment, a defining, crystallizing slice of time that confirmed that we humans had become a space faring race." (Phil Plait, Bad Astronomy)