Live Web cast February 22, 2000, 1 p.m. ET
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On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human being to touch the surface of the Moon.
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As he stepped out of the Apollo 11 lunar landing module, Armstrong uttered what immediately became a famous phrase: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." For the thousands of people back on Earth who sat riveted to their television screens, watching the moment unfold, Armstrong and his colleagues Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Mike Collins became instant heroes.
Armstrong's first space flight had come three years earlier, aboard Gemini 8 in 1966. Before that, he was a Navy fighter pilot and a NASA test pilot. Armstrong flew 78 combat missions in the Korean War. In his long career, Armstrong has flown more than 200 different models of aircraft.
Armstrong left NASA in 1971, and spent the next eight years as a professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati. He has been awarded a Presidential Medal of Honor for his lifetime achievements and contributions to the U.S. space program.
In 1986, the former astronaut was appointed as vice chairman of the presidential commission that investigated the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger.
Neil Armstrong was born in 1930. He has a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University and a master's degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California. He holds a number of honorary doctorates.
Armstrong is married and has two children. He lives in his home state of Ohio, where he serves as chairman of AIL Systems Inc., a New York-based electronics company.
Related Web Sites
U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame
AIL Systems Inc.