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Neil Armstrong

Posted by purplemary54 on August 25, 2012

No music today.

I just now saw the headline that Neil Armstrong has died at 82.  I haven’t read any of the stories yet, so I have no other information.

My dad was an aerospace engineer before he retired some years ago.  He worked on Mercury and Apollo missions, though not the moon landing.  He helped design the Space Shuttle (his specific area was the sleep stations, but I remember him coming home griping about “those damn heat shields,” so I think everyone got in the act on those at some point or another).  He worked on a few other projects, including some early incarnations of the so-called “Star Wars” shield.  So the death of an astronaut is news in a household that was essentially built on rocket ships.

It’s news everywhere.  Neil Armstrong was a fine human being who did one of the most spectacular things anyone has ever done.  I was just a baby when we landed on the moon, but I’m proud that I grew up in world where something like that was possible.  Knowing what I know now about the universe and our solar system, Neil Armstrong stepping onto the moon seems miraculous even now.  Sure, we have hi-def pictures coming back from Mars and we just found the Higgs Boson.  But we’ve got a footstep on the moon that says a human being walked on ground that wasn’t Earth.  There were others after him, but Neil Armstrong got to be first.

 

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4 Responses to “Neil Armstrong”

  1. Wow, that’s cool your dad worked on the Mercury and Apollo missions. Neil Armstrong is definitely an icon.

    • I have no idea which ones he worked; he might’ve just been a draftsman, since he was just starting out then. The Space Shuttle was our bread and butter for decades. He got hired on for that right at the beginning; I was probably around three or four.

  2. The Weebles household was very sad when we heard the news a little while ago. And that is SO cool about your dad—he must have some interesting tales to tell.

    • Stuff comes out sometimes, although generally he likes to tell stories about how someone told so-and-so to get off their duffs and do the job right, or how somone came up with a simple workaround to a complicated problem. I don’t understand a lot of the engineering talk, but the people sound interesting. He always liked the no BS guys best.

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