American Astronauts

American Astronauts


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Neil Armstrong 1930-2012neil_armstrong_

After severing in the Korean war and finishing college, Neil Armstrong entered an organization that would later become NASA. He joined the astronaut program in 1962 and was command pilot for his first mission in 1966. By July 20, 1969,  Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon. Over 200,000 miles away he said “that’s one small step for man, and one giant leap for mankind” as he was walking out of the lunar module and people at home were listening. Armstrong underwent a heart bypass operation in August 2012. On August 25, 2012, at the age of 82, Neil Armstrong died of complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures.

“It’s a brilliant surface in that sunlight. The horizon seems quite close to you because the curvature is so much more pronounced than here on earth. It’s an interesting place to be. I recommend it.”

-describing the moon to interviewer Ed Bradley on 60 minutes in 2005


Sally Ride 1951-2012

She went to Stanford University where she got a bachelors degree in physics andJune 1983 --- Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas: On board Scene-Astronaut Sally K. Ride, STS-7 mission specialist, communicates with ground controllers from the flight deck of the Earth-orbiting Space Shuttle  Dr. Ride holds a tape recorder. The photograph was taken by one of her four fellow crewmembers with a 35mm camera. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS English in 1973. She stayed at the University to study physics to earn a master’s in 1975 and a Ph.D in 1978. In 1978, she beat 1,000 applicants and got a spot in the NASA Astronaut program. On June 18, 1983 she was the first American woman in space; she helped deploy satellites from the Space Shuttle and worked on other projects. On July 23, 2012, Sally Ride died at age 61 from a 17 month battle with pancreatic cancer.

When the space shuttle’s engines cut off, and you’re finally in space, in orbit, weightless… I remember unstrapping from my seat, floating over to the window, and that’s when I got my first view of Earth. Just a spectacular view, and a chance to see our planet as a planet.

-Sally Ride



John Glenn 1921-john glenn

Glenn joined the American war effort in 1942 by entering into the Naval Aviation Cadet Program during his years in college. After he graduated he was deployed in the Pacific front of World War II with the marines. Glenn flew 59 combat missions during this time. After the war he stayed in the military and served in the Korean War. John Glenn was a military pilot and he was chosen in 1959 for Project Mercury astronaut training. In 1959, he was selected for the U.S. Space Program. On February 20,1962 John Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth and he did it three times and it lasted five hours.

I don’t know what you could say about a day in which you have seen four beautiful sunsets.
– John Glenn