First Man on the Moon

Neil Armstrong in space suit holding helmet Courtesy of NASA

Neil A. Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, was born Aug. 5, 1930 in Wapakoneta, Ohio.

In 1947, Armstrong enrolled at Purdue University on a Navy scholarship to pursue a degree in aeronautical engineering. He was called to active duty in the Navy In 1949 and served in the Korean War.

After serving as a naval aviator from 1949-52, Armstrong joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) in 1955. His first assignment was with the NACA Lewis Research Center, now called the Glenn Research Center, in Cleveland. Over the next 17 years, he served as an engineer, test pilot, astronaut and administrator for NACA and its successor agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Armstrong transferred to astronaut status in 1962. He was assigned as command pilot for the Gemini 8 mission. Gemini 8 was launched on March 16, 1966, and Armstrong performed the first successful docking of two vehicles in space.

As spacecraft commander for Apollo 11, the first crewed lunar landing mission, Armstrong gained the distinction of being the first man to land a craft on the moon and first to step on its surface.

Courtesy of NASA
Footprint on the moon