I was sad to hear the news yesterday that Neil Armstrong had passed away.
Neil Armstrong in Apollo Lunar Module after his historic moonwalk in July 1969.
It was just last week that I had been talking about the Apollo missions to a group of Grade 3 students. It was my son's class and they had asked me to talk about life on Mars. They were studying the idea that over time, living things need to adapt in order to survive, and so they were thinking about what people would need to live on Mars one day.
As we spoke about things like the need for water and oxygen, along with the differences between Mars and Earth, I asked if they'd ever seen what happened when the astronauts walked on the Moon. The group, including my son, looked at me blankly and I realised that they had never heard of the famous Moon landings.
So we checked out the NASA clips of Apollo 11's landing and those great action shots of astronauts bouncing around on the Moon due to its weak gravity. The kids were astounded!
Photo of Apollo Lunar Module on the surface of the Moon with Armstrong's shadow in the foreground
Image: Neil Armstrong
I was born just as the Apollo missions were coming to an end. Even so, it was always a part of my world. The Apollo astronauts were amazing men and my tribute to Neil Armstrong will be to make sure that young generations know of the incredible things he and his fellow astronauts did. May they always be an inspiration to all.
Statement from Armstrong Family (via spaceinfo.com.au)