The Planet Quiz Show  

Answer:  Neil Alden Armstrong

He is still alive. Armstrong will be celebrating his 78th birthday on August 5, 2008. He was 38 years old when he landed the Lunar Module named Eagle and became the first human to walk on the moon. The date was July 20, 1969. Neil was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio in 1930, was a licensed pilot at 16, and was fighting in the Korean War at 20. He flew 78 missions and was shot down twice. He joined NASA in 1955 after graduating from Purdue University, and became a test pilot for the X-15 rocket plane. In 1962 he was selected as an astronaut and was the Command Pilot of Gemini 8, which performed the first successful docking of two vehicles in space. An important reason why Armstrong was chosen to be in command of landing the Eagle on the moon was that he possessed incredible powers of concentration under pressure. He was, indeed, the right person for the job. When he landed the Lunar Module Eagle, its Descent Stage contained only enough fuel to remain operational for seven more seconds. Of course, the Ascent Stage was fully fueled and was used 21 hours later to blast off from the lunar surface and rendezvous with the Command Module, Columbia. Despite Armstrongís qualifications, it has been argued that Neilís astronaut partner, Buzz Aldrin, should have been the first person to walk on the moon. After all, the most dangerous part of the mission was the landing. However, Armstrong had no choice in the matter because he was the closest person to the hatch. There was so little room in the Lunar Module that Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong could not maneuver around each other. In several practice attempts to switch positions in the Lunar Module simulator on Earth, equipment had been damaged in the Eagle. Neil Armstrong had to be the first person to walk on the moon, just so Buzz Aldrin could get out. It was just that simple.

[Neil, Mike, and Buzz]
Will the real Neil Armstrong please stand up. Which person is he? Hint: Their names are on their space suits. NASA image ap11-569-31740...

Armstrong Aldrin and Collins in 1999
APOLLO 11 ASTRONAUTS IN 1999: President Clinton looks at a piece of Moon rock presented to him by Apollo 11 crew members Michael Collins, left, Neil Armstrong, second from left, and Buzz Aldrin, right, during a visit to the White House. Carol Armstrong, wife of Neil, third from left, and Lois Aldrin, second from right, wife of Buzz, joined the ceremonies. The presentation was made shortly before the 30th anniversary of the first Moon landing. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds), (left insert photo, Hans Edinger), (right insert photo, Terry Renna)


Mr. Becker and Mike Collins
Mr. Becker (right) and his wife, Susan, met Michael Collins in July 1991.

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