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US astronaut Neil Armstrong dead at 82

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The first man to set foot on the moon, renowned US astronaut Neil Armstrong, has died, his family announced, prompting glowing tributes to his achievements and notably humble character. 

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Apollo 11 space mission US astronaut Neil Armstrong is seen smiling at the camera aboard the lunar module "Eagle" on July 21, 1969 after spending more than 2 hours on the lunar surface. Source: AFP

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US astronaut Neil Armstrong dead at 82

By Olivia Hampton | AFP

The first man to set foot on the moon, renowned US astronaut Neil Armstrong, has died, his family announced, prompting glowing tributes to his achievements and notably humble character.

Armstrong, who inspired a generation to reach for the stars, underwent cardiac bypass surgery earlier this month after doctors found blockages in his coronary arteries, but he died following subsequent complications. He was 82.

Praising Armstrong as a "reluctant American hero," his heartbroken relatives expressed hope his legacy would encourage young people 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."

Armstrong and fellow Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin landed on the moon's desolate surface on July 20, 1969.

Astronaut Neil Armstrong walks on the moon during the Apollo 11 moon mission in 1969. Source: AFP

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 estimated 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 honours, 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.

US President Barack Obama stands alongside the first man on the moon Neil Armstrong in 2009.

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.

Born in Wapakoneta, Ohio on August 5, 1930, Armstrong had an early fascination with aircraft and worked at a nearby airport when he was a teenager.

He took flying lessons at the age of 15 and received his pilot's license on his 16th birthday.

A US Navy aviator, he flew 78 missions in the Korean War.

Armstrong joined NASA's predecessor agency, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, in 1955.

As a research pilot at NASA's Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, he flew on many pioneering high-speed aircraft, eventually flying over 200 different models, including helicopters, gliders, jets and rockets.

He reached astronaut status in 1962, and was assigned as command pilot for the Gemini 8 mission, during which he performed the first successful docking of two vehicles in space.

After retiring from NASA in 1971, Armstrong taught aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati for nearly a decade and served on the boards of several companies, including Lear Jet, United Airlines and Marathon Oil.

He also worked as deputy associate administrator for aeronautics at NASA headquarters, coordinating and managing the space agency's aeronautics research and technology tasks.

His family said they had a simple request to people in memory of Armstrong's life.

"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," it said.

mission – an important piece of work that a person or a group of people has been given to do ภาระกิจ หน้าที่
astronaut – a person whose job involves travelling and working in a spacecraft  มนุษย์อวกาศ
lunar – of or relating to the moon เกี่ยวกับพระจันทร์
module – a unit of a spacecraft that can function independently of the main part ยาน
renowned – famous and admired for a special skill or achievement  ที่มีชื่อเสียง
prompt – to cause someone to take action กระตุ้น
glowing – giving enthusiastic praise กระตือรือร้น
tribute – something that you say, write or give which shows your respect and admiration for someone, especially on a formal occasion เครื่องบรรณาการ
achievement – something very good and difficult that you have succeeded in doing การบรรลุผลสำเร็จ
notably – especially; that which is most noticeable; to a great degree  อย่างน่าสังเกต, อย่างน่าจดจำ
humble – showing you do not think that you are as important as other people ต่ำต้อย,อ่อนน้อมถ่อมตน
character – all the qualities and features that make a person, groups of people, and places different from others; strong personal qualities such as the ability to deal with difficult or dangerous situations  ลักษณะพิเศษ
inspire – to give people a particular feeling or a desire to do somethng จุดประกาย
generation – a group of people in society who are born and live around the same time รุ่น (คนรุ่นต่างๆ)
cardiac – connected with the heart or heart disease ที่เกี่ยวกับหัวใจ
bypass surgery – a medical operation on the heart in which blood is directed along a different route so that it does not flow through a part that is damaged or blocked; the new route that the blood takes
blockage – a thing that blocks flow or movement, for example of a liquid in a narrow place การปิดกั้น, การปิดล้อม, การขัดขวาง
artery – one of the thick tubes that carry blood from the heart to other parts of the body เส้นโลหิตแดง
coronary artery – either of the two arteries that supply blood to the heart หลอดเลือดแดงใหญ่ที่หัวใจ
subsequent – happening or coming after something else ซึ่งตามมา
complications – additional medical problems which make it more difficult to treat an existing illness อาการแทรกซ้อน
reluctant – not willing to do something or accept something อย่างไม่เต็มใจ อย่างลังเลใจ
relative – a member of your family ญาติพี่น้อง
legacy – something that someone has achieved that continues to exists after they stop working or die สิ่งที่สืบทอด
encourage – to cause someone to want to do something กระตุ้น ให้การสนับสนุน
selfless – thinking more about the needs, happiness, etc. of other people than about your own  ซึ่งไม่เห็นแก่ตัว
cause – movement; an aim, idea, or organisation that you support or work for  วัตถุประสงค์ อุดมการณ์
fellow – used for talking about people who are similar to you or are in the same situation  ซึ่งอยู่ในสภาพเดียวกัน
desolate – empty and without people,เปล่าเปลี่ยว,ไร้ผู้คน, ว่างเปล่า
etch – to cut lines into a piece of glass, metal, etc. in order to make words or a picture แกะสลักโดยใช้ของแหลมหรือแสงเลเซอร์
leap – a large jump;  a major achievement that has been done before การกระโดด
mankind – all humans, thought about as one large group; the human race มนุษยชาติ
estimated – thought to be a particular amount, size, etc. based on a guess or the best information available ประมาณการ
grainy – (of photographs or film) not clear and looking as if they are made up of small spots ที่เป็นเม็ดๆหยาบๆ
broadcast – a programme that can be seen or heard on television or radio แพร่ภาพกระจายเสียง
sigh – to breathe out slowly making a long soft sound, especially because you are disappointed, tired, annoyed, or relaxed ถอนหายใจ
relief – a feeling of happiness that something unpleasant has not happened or has ended การผ่อนคลาย
tranquility – the state of being quiet and peaceful  ความสงบ
base – a place from where an activity can be planned or controlled ฐานที่มั่น
pioneer – a person who is the first to study and develop a particular area of knowledge, culture, etc. that other people then continue to develop; one of the first people to go to a particular area in order to live and work there นักบุกเบิก, ผู้บุกเบิก
decorate – to give somebody a medal as a sign of respect for something they have done มอบหรือประดับรางวัลเพื่อยกย่องความกล้าหาญ
slew – a large number or amount of something จำนวนมาก
honour – an award, official title, etc. given to somebody as a reward for something that they have done  เกียรติยศ, เหรียญตรา
fame – the state of being famous or very well known ชื่อเสียง
shy away – to avoid doing something because you are nervous or frightened or feel it is inappropriate  หลบเลี่ยง, หลีกเลี่ยง
the limelight – public attention and interest ไฟสำหรับฉายตัวละครบนเวทีสมัยก่อน
memorabilia – objects that you collect because they belonged to someone famous or are connected with something that interests you ที่ระลึก
autograph – a signature, especially of a famous person ลายเซ็นต์
exorbitant – (especially of prices or demands) much too large มากเกินไป  สูงเกินไป
hail – to praise; to say good things about ชื่นชม  
legacy – something that someone has achieved that continues to exists after they stop working or die สิ่งที่สืบทอด
endure – to last for a long time  คงอยู่, อยู่รอด
spark – to make something happen ก่อให้เกิด
enormous – very large มหาศาล
fascination –  the state of being very attracted to and interested in somebody/something; a very strong attraction, that makes something very interesting ความหลงใหล, ความดึงดูดใจ
licence – an official document that gives someone permission to do or use something ใบอนุญาต
aviator – a pilot; someone who flies and aircraft นักบิน
predecessor – the person (or, in this case, an organisation) who had a job or official position before someone else ผู้ที่ดำรงตำแหน่งก่อนหน้านี้
aeronautics – the science or practice of building and flying aircraft การศึกษาเกี่ยวกับการออกแบบหรือสร้างเครื่องบิน
pioneering – introducing ideas and methods that have never been used before บุกเบิก
eventually – at the end of a period of time or at the end of a process ในที่สุด
glider – a light aircraft that flies without an engine เครื่องร่อน
status –position สถานภาพ
command pilot – the pilot who is in charge of an aircraft, a space mission, etc.
dock – if two spacecraft dock, or are docked, they are joined together in space
retire – to stop working because you have reached the age where you are officially too old to work เกษียณอายุ
aerospace – the industry of building aircraft, vehicles and equipment to be sent into space; the atmosphere of the Earth and the space beyond it  เกี่ยวกับอวกาศหรือยานอวกาศ
decade – a period of ten years  ทศวรรษ
deputy – a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง
administrator – someone whose job is to manage a business, organisation, or institution  ผู้บริหาร
headquarters – the place where an organisation or company has its main offices สำนักงานใหญ่ กองบัญชาการ
coordinate – to organise the different parts of a job or plan so that the people involved work together effectively ประสานงานกัน
modesty – the tendency not to talk about yourself, your achievements, or your abilities even if you are successful  ความถ่อมตัว, ความอ่อนน้อม, ความสงบเสงี่ยม
wink – to close one eye and open it again quickly, especially as a private signal to somebody, or to show something is a joke ขยิบตา, ขยิบตาส่งสัญญาณ

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