Sunday, August 26, 2012


Neil Armstrong was a quiet self-described nerdy engineer who became a global hero when as a steely-nerved pilot he made “one giant leap for mankind” with a small step on to the moon. The modest man who had people on Earth entranced and awed from almost a quarter million miles away has died. He was 82. Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon July 20, 1969, capping the most daring of the 20th century’s scientific expeditions. His first words after setting foot on the surface are etched in history books and the memories of those who heard them in a live broadcast. While in school in 1969, we got news that Neil Armstrong had been the 1st man to step on the moon. Today, it is sad to learn that the fate of man has claimed the great Armstrong as it has to claim all those living. Armstrong lives a name; however, for the least developed countries like Uganda, the advancement in science is hindered by bad politics, poor priorities and corruption. While we have the advantage of just copying what the pioneers in science did, some of our leaders are busy with wrong policies and others just looting the resources that would help the advancement. The few scientists we have been able to get are not given worthy incentives; hence brain drain is the order of the day. May the Almighty God rest Armstrong’s soul in eternal peace By William Kituuka Kiwanuka ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Former US astronaut, Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon, has died at the age of 82. Armstrong underwent a heart bypass surgery earlier this month, just two days after his birthday on Aug 5, to relieve blocked coronary arteries. As commander of the Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969. As he stepped on the dusty surface, Armstrong said: “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.” Those words endure as one of the best known quotes in the English language. Neil Alden Armstrong was 38 years old at the time and even though he had fulfilled one of mankind’s quests that had loomed for centuries and placed him at the pinnacle of human achievement, he did not revel in his accomplishment. He even seemed frustrated by the acclaim it brought. “I guess we all like to be recognised not for one piece of fireworks but for the ledger of our daily work,” Armstrong said in an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” programme in 2005. He once was asked how he felt knowing his footprints would likely stay on the moon’s surface for thousands of years. “I kind of hope that somebody goes up there one of these days and cleans them up,” he said. James Hansen, author of “First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong,” told CBS: “All of the attention that… the public put on stepping down that ladder onto the surface itself, Neil never could really understand why there was so much focus on that.” The Apollo 11 moon mission turned out to be Armstrong’s last space flight. The next year he was appointed to a desk job, being named NASA’s deputy associate administrator for aeronautics in the office of advanced research and technology. Armstrong’s post-NASA life was a very private one. He took no major role in ceremonies marking the 25th anniversary of the moon landing.

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