August 9, 2012
Astronaut Neil Armstrong Recovering From Heart Bypass Surgery
John Neumann for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
The man who took both “one small step” and a “giant leap for mankind,” Neil Armstrong, underwent heart bypass surgery on Tuesday to relieve blocked coronary arteries, Reuters is reporting. NBC news quoted his wife Carol Armstrong as saying he is “doing great.”
As commander of the Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon on 20 July 1969. After piloting the module Eagle to the moon, he climbed down the stairs onto the dusty surface and said his famous words that were echoed around the Earth.
NASA administrator Charles Bolden called the former astronaut a “true American hero” and wished him a quick recovery. “Neil´s pioneering spirit will surely serve him well in this challenging time and the entire NASA family is holding the Armstrong family in our thoughts and prayers,” Bolden said in a statement.
Prior to flying spacecraft for NASA, Armstrong flew combat missions in the Korean war and was a test pilot. After leaving the space agency, he taught at the University of Cincinnati in his home state of Ohio.
Recently he spoke at Ohio State University during a February event honoring fellow astronaut John Glenn and the 50th anniversary of Glenn becoming the first American to orbit the Earth.
In May, Armstrong joined Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida to support the opening of The National Flight Academy, which aims to teach math and science to kids through an aviation-oriented camp.