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TB74
Darn it.

The first man to set foot on the moon has passed away at age 82.

The man was a hero in 1969, and IMHO was still a hero in 2012 and will remain as such until I die, along with Yuri Gagarine, Christopher Colombus, Roald Admunsen and the like.

Armstrong was an explorer, a man willing to risk his life to go further and beyond. The race to the moon might have been very political at the time (western and eastern ideologies were at war), but when you look beyond the USA-vs.-USSR political motivations, there's no reason not to be impressed by what these men did. They landed on a sterile piece of rock without atmosphere in a flying box the size of a small car (with cardboard-thin walls and computers less powerful than today's basic mobile phones), flying through airless space filled with mortal radiations (we're out of the Van Halen belts, here), and sitting on tons of explosive fuel at the launch pad.

Space missions never became routine like sea travel (including Arctic leisure cruises) or air travel did, and yet many people lost interest thinking they were routine indeed. The Columbia and the Challenger space shuttles tragedies are a reminder that an astronaut's job is incredibly dangerous.

People going in space are taking a life threatening risk every time they step into a spacecraft. And yet the typical astronaut often has to wait five to ten years before he/she can make it on a trip to the space station, because so many people want to be part of this incredible journey.

Neil Armstrong was the symbol of an incredible milestone in human history. Thousands of people never got even a millionth of the recognition Armstrong got, and yet they were part of this journey as well. While his death is not a tragedy (he was 82 and lived a plentiful life, after all), it does leave me with a bitter feeling, that of the beginning of the end of an incredible era that started more than 50 years ago.

Rest in peace, Neil.
ren shizu
I heard the news as well. May he rest in peace.
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