Scholastic News
Leaders Talk
Who's News

See All Special Reports
In the News: Neil Armstrong
Neil Armstrong made the news in Scholastic News Edition 5/6 a on October 24, 2005
By Alexandra Cale

Neil Armstrong
Portrait of Neil Armstrong in civilian clothes 9/10/64
(Photo: NASA Johnson Space Center)
Neil Armstrong made history on July 20, 1969, as the first person to walk on the moon. He spoke the famous phrase, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

Armstrong's career began during the Korean War in 1950 when he flew 78 different combat missions. After the war, he attended Purdue University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering. He later received a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California.

He worked as a civilian test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base in California, where he accumulated, gathered, 2,450 hours flying in over 50 kinds of aircraft. In highly specialized aircraft, he eventually reached an altitude, or height, of 207,500 feet and a speed of 3,989 miles per hour.

NASA chose Armstrong as an astronaut in 1962. Four years later he commanded the Gemini 8 mission. He acted as commander and backup commander several other times, but the Apollo 11, mission which achieved lunar (moon) landing, was most significant.

Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, and Michael Collins were the first people to ever walk on the surface of the moon. Armstrong’s first words from the moon were "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed." There is a small crater named after him near where the Apollo 11 touched down on the moon’s surface.

In 1971 he became a professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati, where he taught until 1979. From 1989 until his retirement in 2002, Armstrong was the chairman of AIL Technologies, a company that makes electronic equipment for air and spacecraft.

Armstrong is married and has two sons. He currently lives outside of Cincinnati, Ohio.