Saturday, August 25, 2012

Neil Armstrong dies

I used to wonder what would ever qualify someone to be the first man on the moon. Sure, Neil Armstrong was a superb engineer, war hero, test pilot, and astronaut. But so were many others. His obituary says:
Neil Armstrong was a quiet self-described nerdy engineer who became a global hero when as a steely-nerved pilot he made “one giant leap for mankind” with a small step on to the moon. The modest man who had people on Earth entranced and awed from almost a quarter million miles away has died. He was 82.
Armstrong had two qualities that made him uniquely qualified. First, he was painfully shy. Becoming the most famous man in the world would not goto his head. He would never do anything to embarrass NASA.

Second, he had nerves of steel. Several times he was nearly killed, and he never lost his composure or needed psychotherapy. Here is video of him narrowly avoiding a crash. This was a man who would never panic under pressure, and never get PTSD.


A K Haart said...

I still remember watching on TV as he set foot on the moon.

A great man who didn’t spend the rest of his life sucking up the corrupting opportunities fame always seems to offer. We need more like him, but I tend to think we won’t get them.

Roger said...

Yes, he was a hero.