Topics Neil Armstrong Quotations
Neil Alden Armstrong is a former Test pilot and astronaut, who was the mission commander of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission on July 20, 1969, in which he and Buzz Aldrin were the first humans to land on the moon's surface, and he was the first man to actually step foot upon the moon.
- I think we're going to the moon because it's in the nature of the human being to face challenges. It's by the nature of his deep inner soul ... we're required to do these things just as salmon swim upstream.
- Apollo mission press conference, quoted in Of a Fire on the Moon (1970) by Norman Mailer, and in First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong (2005) by James R. Hansen
- Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.
- First words from the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing Module Eagle after guiding the craft to a landing on the moon. It is estimated that there was 11 seconds' worth of fuel left at touchdown. (20 July 1969)
- That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.
- Words said when Armstrong first stepped onto the moon (20 July 1969). In the actual sound recordings he apparently fails to say "a" before "man" and says: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." This was generally considered by many to simply be an error of omission on his part. Armstrong long insisted he did say "a man" but that it was inaudible. Prior to new evidence supporting his claim, he stated a preference for the "a" to appear in parentheses when the quote is written. In September 2006 evidence based on new analysis of the recordings conducted by Peter Shann Ford, a computer programmer based in Sydney, Australia, whose company Control Bionics helps physically handicapped people to use their own nerve impulses to communicate through computers, indicated that Armstrong had said the missing "a." This information was presented to Armstrong and NASA on 28 September 2006 and reported in the Houston Chronicle (30 September 2006). The debate continues on the matter, as "Armstrong's 'poetic' slip on Moon" at BBC News reports that more recent analysis by linguist John Olsson and author Chris Riley with higher quality recordings indicates that he did not say "a".
- I am comfortable with my level of public discourse.
- Decining to be interviewed for a magazine article, as quoted in "Armstrong's Code" by Kathy Sawyer in Washington Post Magazine (11 July 1999)
- The exciting part for me, as a pilot, was the landing on the moon. That was the time that we had achieved the national goal of putting Americans on the moon. The landing approach was, by far, the most difficult and challenging part of the flight. Walking on the lunar surface was very interesting, but it was something we looked on as reasonably safe and predictable. So the feeling of elation accompanied the landing rather than the walking.
- Space has not changed but technology has, in many cases, improved dramatically. A good example is digital technology where today's cell phones are far more powerful than the computers on the Apollo Command Module and Lunar Module that we used to navigate to the moon and operate all the spacecraft control systems.
- Pilots take no special joy in walking: pilots like flying. Pilots generally take pride in a good landing, not in getting out of the vehicle.
Presidential Telephone Call
- US President Richard Nixon spoke to Aldrin and Armstrong during their first walk on the surface of the moon (20 July 1969) - Full transcript and link to the recording
- Nixon: Hello, Neil and Buzz. I'm talking to you by telephone from the Oval Room at the White House, and this certainly has to be the most historic telephone call ever made from the White House. I just can't tell you how proud we all are of what you have done. For every American, this has to be the proudest day of our lives. And for people all over the world, I am sure they, too, join with Americans in recognizing what an immense feat this is. Because of what you have done, the heavens have become a part of man's world. And as you talk to us from the Sea of Tranquility, it inspires us to redouble our efforts to bring peace and tranquility to Earth. For one priceless moment in the whole history of man, all the people on this Earth are truly one; one in their pride in what you have done, and one in our prayers that you will return safely to Earth.
- Armstrong: Thank you, Mr. President. It's a great honor and privilege for us to be here representing not only the United States but men of peace of all nations, and with interests and the curiosity and with the vision for the future. It's an honor for us to be able to participate here today.
- Nixon: And thank you very much and I look forward — all of us look forward to seeing you on the Hornet on Thursday.
- Aldrin: I look forward to that very much, sir.
- I believe that every human has a finite number of heartbeats. I don't intend to waste any of mine running around doing exercises.
- First On The Moon : A Voyage with Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, Edwin E Aldrin, Jr. (1970) edited by Gene Farmer and Dora Jane Hamblin, p. 113, states of this: "Like many a quote which gets printed once and therefore enshrined in the libraries of all newspapers and magazines, this particular one was erroneous. Neil recalled having heard the quote, and he even recalled having repeated it once. He did not subscribe to its thesis, however, and he only quoted it so that he could disagree with it."
Quotes about Armstrong
- You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We're breathing again.
- Message from mission control in Houston, after the announcement that the Eagle had landed. The previous message from Houston had been an indication that there was 30 seconds of fuel left in the landing vehicle.
- At few other moments has one person become the fulcrum of such weighty imperatives — to win a famous victory for America and vindicate a vast investment of national treasure, to penetrate a hostile frontier, to master a new technology, to navigate a harrowing descent to the unknown — all in the glare of rapt global attention. By the time he landed in the Sea of Tranquility, the country boy from Ohio had already spent most of his adult life in jobs where intensity of focus and the threat of violent death were part of his daily routine. He was used to all of that. It was, instead, the loss of privacy that appalled him. He loved to fly, and he loved his country, and in the name of those passions he was willing to risk not only his hide but a piece of his soul.
Only a piece, however — a mere finger's worth — and no more. ... Those who know him say he is a smart and intensely private, even shy, man determined to live life on his own terms despite having floated down that ladder into the public domain. Whether as an astronaut, naval combat aviator, test pilot, civil servant, engineer, absent-minded professor, gentleman farmer, businessman, civic booster, amateur musician, husband or father, Neil Armstrong has followed his own code.
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