Today Neil Armstrong, the first man to set his foot on the moon, passed away from old age. I was ten years old when the Eagle, crewed by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, landed on the moon on 20 July 1969. Armstrong and Aldrin became household names, heroes of science and technology. That was the social mood of those days: progress and development were unquestioned “beneficial” qualities and space exploration belonged to the realm of daring deeds.
Today, the social mood is quite different and space journeys has become non-events. The International Space Station has been continuously manned for years and few people keep track on individual astronauts. It is probably a good development, because it shows that space technology has become an integral part of our society.
Neil Armstrong was a banner carrier in those long gone days and because of that he became an icon, an all-American hero, perhaps one of the last old-style ones. But what he really excelled in was his craft: piloting strange craft, both in the air and on the moon. So may he rest in peace, while his memory lives. Per aspera ad astra.