Obama hails Neil Armstrong as an American hero (+video)
Neil Armstrong, the first human to set foot on the moon, 'delivered a moment of human achievement that will never be forgotten,' said President Obama in a statement marking the astronaut's passing.
Armstrong, who took humanity's first steps on the moon in July 1969, died today (Aug. 25) at the age of 82. President Barack Obama said he and his wife Michelle were deeply saddened to hear of the astronaut's passing.
"Neil was among the greatest of American heroes — not just of his time, but of all time," Obama said in a statement.
Armstrong commanded NASA's Apollo 11 mission, which blasted off on July 16, 1969. Armstrong dropped onto the lunar surface four days later, and he and his two crewmates returned safely to Earth July 24, achieving a goal laid out by President John F. Kennedy eight years earlier.
"When he and his fellow crew members lifted off aboard Apollo 11 in 1969, they carried with them the aspirations of an entire nation," Obama said. "They set out to show the world that the American spirit can see beyond what seems unimaginable — that with enough drive and ingenuity, anything is possible. And when Neil stepped foot on the surface of the moon for the first time, he delivered a moment of human achievement that will never be forgotten."