First man on moon dies
- Published: 26 Aug 2012 at 09.06
- Online news:
WASHINGTON: The first human to set foot on the moon, renowned US astronaut Neil Armstrong, has died following complications from cardiovascular surgery. He was 82.
The Bangkok Post front page of July 21, 1969, the day after Armstrong's historic moon walk. Armstrong underwent cardiac bypass surgery earlier this month after doctors found blockages in his coronary arteries.Praising Armstrong as a "reluctant American hero," his family said it was heartbroken and noted that the space pioneer had "served his nation proudly, as a navy fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut.""While we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves," it added.Armstrong and fellow Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin landed on the moon's desolate surface on July 20, 1969, before the eyes of hundreds of millions of awed television viewers worldwide.His first words upon stepping on the lunar surface have since been etched in history: "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."The 500 million people who watched the grainy black and white broadcast breathed a sigh of relief when Armstrong told mission control the module had landed safely, saying: "Houston, Tranquility base here. The Eagle has landed."But the lunar pioneer, who was decorated by 17 countries and received a slew of US honors, was never comfortable with his worldwide fame, shying away from the limelight.Armstrong even stopped signing memorabilia after learning his autographs were being sold at exorbitant prices.John Glenn, the first American to to orbit Earth and the third in space, recalled Armstrong's legendary humility."He didn't feel that he should be out huckstering himself," the former Ohio senator told CNN. "He was a humble person, and that's the way he remained after his lunar flight, as well as before."A "deeply saddened" President Barack Obama on Saturday hailed Armstrong as "the greatest of American heroes -- not just of his time, but of all time."His "legacy will endure -- sparked by a man who taught us the enormous power of one small step," said Obama, who was just under eight years old at the time of the historic Apollo 11 mission.Republican House Speaker John Boehner remembered Armstrong for inspiring generations with his "monumental feat.""A true hero has returned to the heavens to which he once flew," Boehner said. "Ohio has lost one of her proudest sons. Humanity has...
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