RIP Neil Armstrong

Now he belongs to legend.

Damn. RIP.

When I was a kid, Neil Armstrong was the future.

Now the future is gone.

I remember back in 2004, there was a tribute for James Doohan and Neil Armstrong showed up express his own thanks to Scotty. We’ve lost Scotty, and now we’ve lost Neil.

Thanks for the dreams, guys.

We still have Buzz (also 82).

What I first remember Neil Armstrong for was Gemini 8(?), which was spinning out of control with the astronauts close to permanent black out. He got them out of the spin. So rest in peace, Neil, you truly had The Right Stuff.

I remember reading Janice May Udry’s children’s book The Moon Jumpers (illustrated by Maurice Sendak) to my son when he was young. There was a line- but no one has ever touched the moon which I would immediately add to by saying, “except for Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong” and my son would giggle. Yeah, I know, 10 more, but the point got across.

The Eagle has landed.

Man it sucks when your boyhood heroes start dying. This “celebrity” death brought tears to my eye. We do still have Buzz Aldrin and Micheal Collins and remarkable John Glenn at 92.
I will be honoring his families wish tonight.

“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request: Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”

Alas.

He already did. I’m too young to remember him as an astronaut but he’s always been a living representation of space exploration in my lifetime. Sorely missed already.

“(Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story misstated Neil Armstrong’s last name.)”

RIP both Neil and journalism…

Fortunately when Buzz Aldrin dies he will be last human to do so; I fully expect him to kill death with his bare hands once he crosses over.

Well, hell.

RIP.

Balls of steel.

RIP

Richard Nixon’s undelivered speech in case the Moon landings failed is very poignant at this point:

Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.
These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.
These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.
They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.
In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.
In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.
Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.
For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.

RIP Neil Armstrong, hero.

A titan has fallen. RIP, sir.

He came in peace for all mankind.

RIP sir, thanks for showing us how far we could soar.

God speed in the next life.

Years ago I saw Ray Bradbury, who died just two months ago, give a speech about the night Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the moon. I found a transcript of the speech, so I quote it here. Bradbury must have told the story multiple times, as this transcript is from a 1972 speech, and I saw him tell the tale in the early 80s.

Bradbury was in London that night, and was asked to appear on CBS to reflect on the event. The final paragraph brought the audience to its feet:

Perhaps it would be good for me to tell you…the experience I had…the night of the Apollo landing… I think you know how intensely I felt about space travel since I was a child…I never dreamt that I would live, really, to see the landing on the Moon…I hoped I might live to see it…and…by Godit finally did happen three years back. I felt privileged… I felt…as though I was the luckiest person in the world to be alive that particular night.

I was…confronted by…a panel…of three…great intellects, and I mean that on several levels, seriously and facetiously at the same time I suppose, the Lord, Guard Ritchie Calder the scientist, a very wonderful gentleman indeed, the Bishop of Geneva, and Bernadette Devlin from the North of Ireland. (laughter) Well I knew I was in for trouble…because all of them were saying 'Oh, why are we spending all this money on space, why are we not spending it all and doing this or doing that …and I’ve heard this argument a million times now…and I’ve had to defend space. And I will defend space here this evening, once more, again.

And finally, when all three of these intellectuals had finished lamenting space travel, Oh the waste, Oh this, Oh that…I finally said 'Hey everyone, shut up! Everyone shut up, all three of you, you don’t know…the least thing of what you’re talking about. You’re totally ignorant the whole three of you! And now I’ll tell you what space is. You, miss Devlin, what do you call yourself? She said ‘A hooligan liberal’, I say ‘A hooligan liberal is it?’ I said ‘In the face of the greatest night in the History of the world, you are a reactionary conservative.’ That hurts.

So I proceeded, I said 'What, what do we have here tonight? What do we have here tonight? This…is the result of six billion years of evolution, this very evening…We’re sitting here in this studio…our men have been on the Moon two hours…it took billions of years for this Earth to cool, for the rains to fall, for the oceans to form, for the animalcules to come out of the chemistry and ferment of the seas. For the small creatures of the sea to give up their gills, to build spines, to crawl out on the land, to hide in the caves, to, to seek the trees, to come down out of the jungles. To till the fields, to build the cities, to envy the birds, to SEE THE STARS! To…revile gravity and…finally wish to wind up somewhere else except riveted here to this tombstone Earth! Tonight, we have given the lie to gravity! We have reached for the stars. We have touched down on another world! After six billion years of evolution, and you refuse to celebrate? TO HELL WITH YOU!
(applause)
They didn’t say a word! (laughter)