Neil Armstrong entered this universe on his family’s farm and would leave it having stepped foot on the moon. He is dead after spending 82 extraordinary years on this Earth, and a few days off of it.

(Related: Photos of Neil Armstrong captured by NASA)

Armstrong was shy, despite his heroic achievements, and once said, as quoted by the Los Angeles Times, “I am, and ever will be, a white-sock, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer.”

The achievements of Armstrong and the other early spacefarers ignited the scientific and cultural imagination of a world that has, in just a few decades since, produced pocket computers, self-driving cars, nanotechnology, carbon fiber and fat-free ice cream.

One of the millions if not billions inspired by Armstrong’s giant leap for mankind is actor George Takei, who played Mr. Sulu on “Star Trek.” He tweeted Saturday, “With him, we all took one giant leap towards the heavens. Rest in peace, Neil Armstrong, as you rejoin them.”

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, calling Armstrong a friend and hero, said of the explorer’s passing, “As long as there are history books, Neil Armstrong will be included in them, remembered for taking humankind’s first small step on a world beyond our own.”

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer.


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