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Modified & Updated: 14 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

Neil Armstrong facts

Neil Armstrong is famous as the first human to step on the moon. Did you know that Armstrong was in the United States Navy and the Air Force before his time in NASA? However, despite some information and his famous reputation, not much is known about the famous moon man. We even bet that the Neil Armstrong facts we shared are the few things you know about him! Take a look at these Armstrong details to understand more about one of the greatest contributors to modern science.

After your journey across Neil Armstrong’s life, feel free to let us know which of the Neil Armstrong facts impressed you the most!

  1. Neil Armstrong was born on August 5, 1930.
  2. He died on August 25, 2012, in the state of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
  3. Neil Armstrong was 82 years old when he passed away.
  4. He spent a total of eight days and 14 hours in space.
  5. Neil Armstrong was 38 years old when he first landed on the moon.
  1. The famous astronaut’s full name is Neal Alden Armstrong.
  2. Neil Armstrong is a graduate of Purdue University in the state of Indiana, USA.
  3. He is the first astronaut to land on the moon in human history.
  4. Neil Armstrong first joined NASA in 1962.
  5. He was also a member of the second group of the NASA Astronaut Corps.
  6. Neil Armstrong is also considered to be the first civilian astronaut to fly in space.
  7. His first role as a common pilot for his spaceflight was during the Gemini 8 mission in 1966.
  8. Neil Armstrong landed on the moon along with fellow astronaut, Buzz Aldrin.
  9. He officially resigned from NASA in the year 1971 at the age of 41.
  10. Neil Armstrong also lent his service during the Apollo 13 accident investigation.
  1. The United States Navy paid for the college tuition of Neil Armstrong under the Holloway Plan.
  2. Neil Armstrong was also working as a naval navigator in 1950.
  3. He also fought in the Korean War that began in June 1950.
  4. Neil Armstrong was a participant in the Man In Space Soonest program by the U.S Air Force.
  5. The Apollo 11 mission was considered to be Neil Armstrong’s second and last flight.
Table of Contents

Neil Armstrong Facts Infographics

Neil Armstrong Facts Infographics

Neil Armstrong carried a bag of dust with him during his time on the moon’s surface.

During his time on the moon, Neil Armstrong carried a bag to collect moon dust, which would be later be studied by NASA. According to scientists, lunar dust samples were collected as a means of learning the effects experienced when stepping on the surface of the moon.

Neil Armstrong learned how to fly first before driving a car.

The famous astronaut first got his student flight certificate at the age of 16 on his birthday. After this, he was able to take his first solo flight within the end of 30 days. After he was able to successfully do so, Neil Armstrong also applied to get his driver’s license later in the same year.

Hallmark was once sued by Neil Armstrong in the 1990s.

Neil Armstrong sued the greeting card company Hallmark in the 1990s, stating that they misappropriated his likeness without his consent. After the court dispute was settled, Neil Armstrong donated all of the proceeds to his alma mater, Purdue University.

Neil Armstrong received recognition for his time in the military.

Apart from the awards he received for his time at NASA, Neil Armstrong was also awarded several awards during his time in the military. One of the most noted awards from his time of service was the Presidential Medal of Freedom which was given to him in 1969. He was also given the Congressional Gold Medal in 2009.

He was noted to have placed his left boot on the surface of the moon first.

astronaut boot print

This is also known as the first footprint made on the surface of the moon in human history. This footprint was recorded by the Apollo 11 crew with the equipment they had brought on board with them. The moon landing of 1969 was broadcasted on live television at the time, which was watched by 650 million people worldwide.

His cause of death was due to complications of undergoing a heart surgery.

In August 2012, Neil Armstrong underwent a heart bypass surgery in Cincinnati, Ohio. The surgery was considered successful until the famed astronaut began to experience complications from the operation two weeks later.  The cremated remains of Neil Armstrong were committed to the Atlantic Ocean after his funeral ceremony was held onboard a US Navy cruiser.

Neil Armstrong taught as a professor at the University of Cincinnati until 1979.

After retiring from NASA, Neil Armstrong began teaching aeronautical engineering for eight years at the University of Cincinnati. According to the university, Neil Armstrong left the faculty quite suddenly because he wanted to live a life under the radar with his family.

He and his crew were quarantined for three weeks when they came back to Earth.

On July 24, 1969, Neil Armstrong and the crew members of the Apollo 11 mission landed in the Pacific Ocean after their momentous space voyage. But they weren’t quickly integrated into society as NASA subjected the crew to a three-week quarantine, a precaution against space viruses that they might’ve picked up. The same procedure is also followed before launching to avoid sending Earth viruses into orbit.

He acted as a spokesman for several other businesses starting 1979.

In 1979, Neil Armstrong acted as a spokesperson for a company called Chrysler. This company was considered to be one of the top three largest car manufacturers in the United States at the time. The famous astronaut also endorsed other several brands.

For the most part, Neil Armstrong preferred to keep his life private.

According to many of his colleagues, Neil Armstrong tried to stray away from the media as much as possible. After his final agreement with Chrysler, Neil Armstrong led a life away from public eyes up to the time of his death.

There is no clear image available of Neil Armstrong during his time on the moon's surface.

The famous photo of the astronaut on the surface of the moon is Buzz Aldrin and not Neil Armstrong. However, you can see Neil Armstrong in the reflection of his helmet in the photo. Apart from this photo, no clear images that feature Neil Armstrong on the moon exist.

neil armstrong facts
Source: Pexels

He first joined NASA as an engineer and not as an astronaut.

Before joining the astronaut program in 1962, Neil Armstrong was an aeronautical engineer for NASA. He was given the role of a command pilot on the Gemini 8 mission in 1966.

It took a total of 76 hours for Neil Armstrong and his crew to reach the moon.

The distance from the Earth to the surface of the moon is measured at 240,000 miles. The crew members of the mission continuously traveled through space for 76 hours before reaching their destination. Neil Armstrong landed on the moon at exactly 3:17 pm EST on July 20, 1969.

He was briefly married to Janet Shearon before marrying his second wife.

He married Janet Shearon in 1956. By 1994, the couple had filed for divorce and Neil Armstrong married a woman by the name of Carol Knight in the same year. Neil Armstrong has three children named Karen, Mark, and Eric Armstrong.

The spacesuit that he wore was made by Playtex.

neil armstrong facts
Source: Pexels

Playtex is a known bra manufacturer in the United States. The Apollo suits were said to be made with old-world craftsmanship blended with cutting-edge technology courtesy of the manufacturer. Each of the suits was handmade by seamstresses with extreme precision as it would need to be durable enough for space travel.

Neil Armstrong was noted to be uncomfortable around the media.

The famous astronaut was not known to dwell in the spotlight. He does, however, participate in public appearances if they are deemed worthy of his time. In May 2012, Neil Armstrong agreed on a video interview with the certified practicing accountants of Australia.

He became an instant celebrity after his return to Earth from the Apollo 11 mission.

After returning to Earth from the Apollo 11 mission, the name Neil Armstrong was a name everyone knew. The famous astronaut instantly had fans from all over the world. It was noted that people were asking for autographs and photos with him as if he’s a hotshot Hollywood actor. Despite the attention he was getting, Neil Armstrong remained humble and preferred to stay out of the spotlight.

Neil Armstrong also worked as a test pilot for the United States Air Force.

After graduating from college, Neil Armstrong became a test pilot at the High-Speed Flight Station at the Edwards Air Force Base. There he was tasked with piloting chase planes that are still within the experimental states.

He also helped NASA invent a computer navigation tech called the fly-by-wire.

This program is a computerized system that is used in the majority of planes today. This allows a computer to automatically analyze the control inputs made by the pilots such as evaluating the aircraft’s speed, weight, and other statistics.

According to mission logs, Neil Armstrong was worried about how they would land on the moon.

moon landing
Source: Pexels

According to the team on the Apollo 11 mission, the crew had difficulty locating a safe spot to land on the moon when they arrived in its orbit. This was due to the uneven terrain found on the surface of the moon.

After careful analysis, the Lunar Module finally landed on the moon with the coordinates 0°4’5″N latitude, 23°42’28″E longitude.

He is the eldest son of three children.

Neil Armstrong was the eldest brother to Dean and June Armstrong and was born to Viola and Stephen Armstrong. Apart from their names, there is not much known about the Armstrong family.

The first meal eaten on the moon was bacon.

After successfully landing on the surface of the moon, the crew members scheduled a meal that consisted of bacon squares, peaches, sugar cookie cubes, and as well as coffee. The crew, however, ate the historical first meal on the moon slightly ahead of schedule after landing.

The Lunar Module Eagle was so small that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin could not sit inside.

Due to the restricted space on the Lunar Module, both astronauts were forced to stand instead of sitting. The Lunar Module is a small craft used for traveling between the moon’s surface and an orbiting spacecraft and was compactly designed for aesthetic and logistic purposes.

His most famous quote was misheard back in Earth’s communication center.

According to Neil Armstrong, his most famous quote associated with the moon landing was misheard. The famous quote is known as “That’s one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.” However, Armstrong insisted that he said, “That’s one small step for a man.”

Neil Armstrong was said to have an IQ of 139.

Neil Armstrong tested and certified for an IQ test which was saved by NASA for statistical purposes. According to the test, Neil Armstrong scored 139, close to the IQ of Napoleon Bonaparte which is measured at 145.

neil armstrong facts
Source: Pexels

Several of his belongings were auctioned off for millions of dollars.

In total, his auctioned items were priced for more more than $12.1 million at the time. These included items such as commemorative medals and pieces of aircraft that he took with him to the moon.

He and his crew had a special tube in their suits that allowed them to do their business without hassle.

According to NASA, their toilet makes use of a vacuum system that pulls the fluids away from the body. The astronauts would pee into a roll-on cuff and poop in bags that they later seal shut and take back to Earth with them.

According to scientists, Buzz Aldrin had the chance to set foot on the moon first.

Due to an issue with the spacecraft’s door system, Buzz Aldrin was not able to get out ahead of Neil Armstrong during the Apollo 11 mission. Because of this fact, Neil Armstrong became the first crew member to step foot on the surface of the moon.

Neil Armstrong stated that he had an interest for flight since he was a boy.

According to the late astronaut, Neil Armstrong took an interest in flight systems at a young age, and that he aimed to acquire his pilot’s license as soon as he was of legal age. To achieve this, Neil Armstrong took studies related to the field, which also became his major in his college years.

Source: Pexels

Neil Armstrong landed on a part of the moon referred to as the Mare Tranquillitatis. 

Mare Tranquillitatis translates to “the sea of tranquility”. This area was given the name due to the stable conditions of the location compared to other parts of the moon’s surface.

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