Neil Armstrong Essay Research Paper Neil ArmstrongBackground

Neil Armstrong Essay, Research Paper

Neil Armstrong


Neil Armstrong was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio in the year 1930. His

services as a pilot were called upon during the Korean War. Shortly after

graduating from Purdue University in 1955, Armstrong joined the National

Aeronautics and Space Administration, then known as the National Advisory

Committee for Aeronautics. At the time the functions of the N.A.C. were to plan,

direct, and conduct all United States aeronautical and space activities, except

for those that were primarily military. Armstrong served as a civilian test

pilot at Edwards Air Base in Lancaster, California. In 1962 Armstrong became

the first civilian to enter the astronaut-training program.

Gemini VII Mission

In March of 1966, Armstrong completed his training and became the

command pilot of the Gemini 8 mission. The crew of this mission was made up of

David R. Scott and himself. In case of any emergencies with the two men before

the launch, either physical or mental, a backup crew was made. The backup crew

consisted of Charles Conrad Junior, and Richard Gordon Junior. The objectives

of the mission were:

A. (Main) Rendezvous and dock with Gemini Agena target vehicle (GATV)

and conduct EVA operations.

B. (Secondary) Rendezvous and dock in the 4th revolution. Perform

docked-vehicle maneuvers, Evaluate systems and conduct 10 experiments.

The mission was set to launch on March 15, 1966. Due to minor problems with the

spacecraft and launch vehicle hardware the launch was delayed one day. The

launch was successful. Because of problems with the spacecraft control system,

the crew was forced to undock after approximately thirty minutes. The

spacecraft-target vehicle combination had begun to encounter increasing yaw and

roll rates. The crew regained control of their spacecraft by using the reentry

control system, which prompted and early landing in a secondary landing area in

the Pacific after 10 hours, 41 minutes, and 26 seconds. No EVA was performed.

An electrical short caused the failure in the control system. Docking and re-

rendezvous secondary objectives were not achieved due to the shortened mission.

Apollo 11 mission

The Apollo 11 mission was funded under the Nixon administration during

the heat of the space race with the Russians. The main purpose of this launch

was to put a man on the moon, and successfully back down to Earth. The crew

consisted of three men, two of which would walk on the moon. Edwin Aldrin

Junior of the United Stated Air Force, Armstrong, and Lieutenant Colonel Michael

Collins, also of the U.S. airforce made up the crew. Collins remained in the

Lunar Orbit following the separation, piloting the command and service module.

The Lunar Module descended to the surface of the moon on July 20, landing at the

edge of Mare Tranquilitatis. A few hours later, Armstrong, in his somewhat

bulky space suit, descended the latter and, at 10:56 PM (Eastern Standard Time)

stepped onto the surface of the moon. His first words, which will forever go

down in history were, “That’s one small step for man?. One giant leap for

mankind.” Aldrin soon joined him, and the two astronauts spent more then two

hours walking on the lunar surface. They gathered 47 pounds of soil samples,

took photographs, and set up solar wind equipment, a laser beam reflector, and a

seismic experiment package. The two men also put up an American flag, and

talked, by satellite communications, with United States President Richard Nixon

in the White House. The men found that walking and running at one-sixth the

gravity of Earth was not difficult. Also by satellite communication, millions

of people watched live television broadcast from the moon. Returning to the

Lunar Module, and taking off their space suits, the two astronauts rested

several hours before takeoff. They left the moon in the ascent stage of the

Lunar Module, after docking with the command and service module and the transfer

of the astronauts to the spacecraft. The return flight of the Apollo 11 was

without mishap and the vehicle splashed down and was recovered on July 24 in the

Pacific Ocean, close to Hawaii.

Due to fears of terrestrial contamination by living lunar organisms, the

astronauts put on biological isolation garments before leaving the spacecraft.

They were placed under quarantine for three weeks. Both men remained in good

health. The mission was completely successful. It also set the stage for

future space exploration and lunar landings.

Life after Apollo 11 After his years as a pilot during the Korean War, and

becoming commander of both the Gemini 8 and the Apollo 11 missions, not to

mention being the first civilian to enter NASA’s astronaut program, and the

first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong retired from the space program.

In 1971 he became a professor of Aerospace engineering at the University of

Cincinnati. Neil Armstrong still lives today, a very proud and accomplished man.


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