Over the Moon About Neil Armstrong: 50 Years Ago He Made His Historic Landing

Over the Moon About Neil Armstrong: 50 Years Ago He Made His Historic Landing

Paul Major, CEO & President of the Telluride Foundation sent the following note this morning honoring memory of the late, great astronaut and Telluride Foundation board member, Neil Armstrong. It was 50 years ago today that he landed on the moon.

“Carol and I have hatched a plan to build a bench honoring Neil on the Telluride Jude Wiebe hiking trail. We have preliminary approvals from the US Forest Service, and we are working on the final design and installation plan. It will be a nice tribute to Neil, with a view that is second, I think, only to the moon. I will provide an update soon,” said  Major.

Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon, wears an Apollo mission space suit.


Apollo 11 Astronaut Neil Armstrong speaks during a celebration dinner at Ohio State University honoring the 50th anniversary of John Glenn’s historic flight aboard Friendship 7 Monday, Feb. 20, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. Glenn was the first American to orbit Earth. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Today, 50 years ago, Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. As the country revisits that amazing human achievement, it is humbling to remember Neil as the engineer, teacher, pilot, astronaut, and really nice guy that he was. It was a great honor to have Neil as a member of our Board and the Telluride community.

While much has been written about Apollo 11 recently, I wanted to share this article by Robin Wright about Neil and Carol from The New Yorker, “Neil Armstrong, Over the Moon Among the Pandas.”

rmstrong, who represented mankind’s giant leap into space, was enthralled by what he saw at the National Zoo.Photograph by Philip​ Scott Andrews / NYT / Redux.

In June, 2001, I took Neil Armstrong and his wife, Carol, to the National Zoo. I love pandas. As it turned out, Neil Armstrong did, too. The visit happened after my neighbor Joe Allen, another early astronaut, called to ask if I could arrange for the Armstrongs to see the young pandas, who’d recently arrived from China with fuss and fanfare rivalling a Presidential Inauguration. The bears had been flown aboard a special FedEx plane dubbed Panda One, which had pictures of them painted on each side. Cable-news shows provided live coverage of the bears’ police escort to the zoo. Like the three Apollo 11 astronauts returning from the moon, the pandas had to be quarantined (for thirty days, longer than the twenty-one days for the astronauts) when they arrived in the United States.

When we met to ride to the zoo, Armstrong introduced himself as if I might not have known who he was. By then, his hair was turning silver. A former test pilot, he wore aviator glasses and was dressed casually, in a blue short-sleeved shirt with a pen clipped to his pocket. He looked like the professor of engineering he had become. At nasa, he had been notoriously modest, unspoiled by the glamour and hoopla that tarnished other astronauts’ reputations. “He was the most gracious and humble person I ever knew,” Allen, who had been at Mission Control for Apollo 11 and was a Yale-educated physicist before he became an astronaut, told me. Armstrong’s biographer, James Hansen, recalled that a woman once approached Armstrong at a pro-am golf tournament and asked, “Aren’t you somebody that I should know?” He replied, “Probably not.”

Armstrong was instead consumed with science and its many facets…

Continue reading here.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.