Tag Archives: Apollo 11

Neil Armstrong by Buz Aldrin

Buzz Aldrin, accompanied Neil Armstrong in the historic Apollo 11 moon landing. He has put up this lovely photo of Neil Armstrong, and a statement commemorating his passing, on his website.

I am deeply saddened by the passing of my good friend, and space exploration companion, Neil Armstrong today. As Neil, Mike Collins and I trained together for our historic Apollo 11 Mission, we understood the many technical challenges we faced, as well as the importance and profound implications of this historic journey. We will now always be connected as the crew of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon, yet for the many millions who witnessed that remarkable achievement for humankind, we were not alone.

Whenever I look at the moon I am reminded of that precious moment, over four decades ago, when Neil and I stood on the desolate, barren, yet beautiful, Sea of Tranquility, looking back at our brilliant blue planet Earth suspended in the darkness of space, I realized that even though we were farther away from earth than two humans had ever been, we were not alone. Virtually the entire world took that memorable journey with us. I know I am joined by many millions of others from around the world in mourning the passing of a true American hero and the best pilot I ever knew. My friend Neil took the small step but giant leap that changed the world and will forever be remembered as a historic moment in human history.

I had truly hoped that on July 20th, 2019, Neil, Mike and I would be standing together to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of our moon landing, as we also anticipated the continued expansion of humanity into space, that our small mission helped make possible. Regrettably, this is not to be. Neil will most certainly be there with us in spirit.

On behalf of the Aldrin family, we extend our deepest condolences to Carol and the entire Armstrong family. I will miss my friend Neil as I know our fellow citizens and people around world will miss this foremost aviation and space pioneer.

May he Rest in Peace, and may his vision for our human destiny in space be his legacy.


Thanks to:  Buzz Aldrin’s Official Statement on the Passing of Neil Armstrong.
See also: @TheRealBuzz

Apollo 11

Apollo 11 lunar module, Eagle. Image width: 282 meters (about 925 ft.)

This 40th anniversary brings back memories. My family had no TV then – a lot of New Zealanders didn’t. And anyway with a young family we had built-in entertainment.

But the sixties were a heady time for space exploration. Of course the moon landings were horribly tinged with the cold war “space race”. National prestige and military/political motives were foremost. However, one cannot deny the important scientific advances made by these landings and the other space exploration occurring that decade. As Neil deGrass Tyson points out science has often had to piggyback on exploration made for seemingly mercenary interests.

I have clear memories of the Sputnik launch, Gagarin‘s flight and the first detailed photos from the first soft-landing on the moon by a Soviet craft. I can also remember those in the early sixties who wrote books and newspaper articles claiming that their was a civilisation of the other, so far unseen, side of the moon. Seems incredibly stupid – but we seem to have just as many cranks these days.

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