America, Humanity and the Moon Mourn Neil Armstrong

America, Humanity and the Moon Mourn Neil Armstrong


The top-notch generation of pioneer astronauts did not come from the vacuum as the career itself was fraught with numerous technical complexities and training challenges to cope with extreme environmental hostility of the outer space. For this ideal, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was founded in 1958 once the United States government saw it necessary to venture into space exploration as the context of cold war and ideological divergence have enormously exacerbated the space race between America and the former Soviet Union. It is true that the Soviets were the pioneers who have led the way since the early sixties under the aegis of their space hero Yuri Gagarin who was the first man to circumnavigate the earth on 12th April, 1961 in 1 hour and 48 minutes aboard spaceship Vostok I in 1961. Instead, the Americans had somehow led, especially during the late sixties and the whole seventies, the astronautically astounding adventure to its final stages by devising, designing and developing the Apollo Program as an ambitious agenda for fathoming out physical and chemical properties of the Earth’s singular night star and making an abiding achievement in the history of interplanetary conquest: the moon landing that is nostalgically and proudly celebrated by the American nation and the NASA community every year as a magnificent momentum that had interactively inspired the adepts of manned space travels like the veteran astronaut Neil Armstrong to support unshakably prospective planetary landing and prospecting. He passed away on 25th August, 2012 after undergoing a heart surgery on his coronary arteries.

Neil Alden Armstrong, who was born on Wapakoneta on 5th August 1930, came to the world of astronautics from the US Navy as he served as a naval aviator during the Korean War. Armstrong hogged the limelight as an accomplished aviator after piloting more than 900 varieties of aircraft at the Dryden Flight Centre. After a Bachelor of Science (BS) in aeronautical engineering in 1955 from Purdue University, his Alma Mater, the curve of his university career levelled out after getting a Master of Science (MS) in aerospace engineering from University of Southern California in 1970, one year after his Apollo XI feat with Buzz Aldrins and Michael Collins, all fully-fledged career officers of the United States Air Army.


The stream of universal homage bid toward the accomplished aeronaut and arch-astronaut Neil Armstrong deluged the American government and nation at the apex of Republican convention and the investiture of Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Traditionally Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrins and Michael Collins adhere to republican convictions and conventions since the period of President Richard Nixon who gloriously and proudly welcomed the triumvirate as valiant victors and went with them on an escorted tour in Latin American countries. Within the context of electoral reasons, Mitt Romney praised the good qualities of the first high-flying aeronaut and astronaut. Buzz Aldrins who was the second to cherish the memory of the planetary prestige of a moon landing and moonwalk after Armstrong on 20 July 1969 aboard the Lunar Exploratory module (LEM) and that lasted 2 and ½ hours avowed to be “very saddened to learn of the passing I know I am joined by millions of others in mourning the passing of a true American hero and the best pilot I ever knew” as both of them shared as career colleagues the common concerns and had widely converged on the necessity of far-reaching manned space flights to the red planet Mars. In this respect, Armstrong avowed in a public letter co-signed by two other Apollo Program Veterans declaring:


“For The United States, the leading space faring nation for nearly half a century, to be without carriage to low Earth orbit and with no human exploration capability to go beyond Earth orbit for an indeterminate time into the future, destines our nation to become one of second or even third rate stature”.


Both able-bodied astronauts Armstrong and Aldrins retired from NASA in 1971 after stamping their occupational objectivism with high achievements fulfilled during their Apollo XI’s valiant voyage to the moon. Michael Collins, the third astronaut who circumnavigated the moon aboard the Apollo XI’s command module recognized his professional distinction: “Armstrong was the best, and I will miss him terribly“. In his capacity as NASA Administrator, Charles Bolden paid his tribute to the veteran spaceman saying to Al Jazeera English: “he will be remembered for taking humankind’s first small step on a world beyond our own“. As a firm believer in manned interplanetary flights, Armstrong continued to advocate the same Martian ideals at The Hague Science & Technology Summit held on 18th November 2010 by being eager to offer his supervisory sterling support to any future mission to the Red Planet if requested.


NASA has worked since its foundation in 1958 to stimulate scientific research and implement it in astronautics thanks to a complementary cross-fertilisation and interactive interdisciplinarity of numerous branches of scientific knowledge such mathematics, Boolean Algebra, physics, chemistry, biology, aeronautics, computer science, avionics, aerodynamics&astrodynamics,geology,cybernetics,robotics,electronics,mechanics,nanotechnology,psychology,etc….Therefore the generation of pioneer astronauts had remarkably undergone a tough process of tests, trainings, experimental preparations and perfecting practice in various hostile environments that are severely austere like the barren, atmosphereless moon.


Armstrong, Aldrins and Collins for instance had been groomed by the United States Air Force before embarking on highflying, high-velocity and high pressure trainings by flying a variety of highly sophisticated, supersonic aircraft. All of them managed to adapt themselves to various extreme environmental evils and conditions which consist of cosmic radiation, meteorites, shooting stars, comets, solar winds, weightlessness, blood pressure etc… Heartbreaking failures constantly bestow on them guts and greatness which are trusted fearlessly upon them.


Undoubtedly they shared the lead with avant-garde rocket scientists and ballistics experts like the father of American astronautics physicist and engineer Robert Goddard (1882-1945) and German-born American Ballistics engineer Wernher Von Baun (1912-1977) who both empirically contributed to the advancement of American astronautics. The latter worked resourcefully and tirelessly with his team on developing a long-range space rocket baptized Saturn V that put almost successfully all the Apollo spacecraft, except the failed Apollo I, into lunar orbit. But Apollo VIII marked the liable leap towards the first successful manned circumlunar flight, followed by Apollo IX and Apollo X during which astronauts tried the efficiency of the LEM (Lunar Exploratory Module).


Neil Armstrong, the Astronaut, the Scientist and the Engineer will be a quintessence of NASA’s internationalist and magnificent polymaths as he had worked determinedly to bridge the yawning space race gap separating his native America and its rival space superpower the Soviet Union. Moreover, he visited Moscow, its Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre and met with the community of cosmonauts and namely the first Soviet spacewoman Valentina Tereshkova. Furthermore, he passionately had lectured on space research at the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Cincinnati for 8 years and declined any canvassing for high-powered political positions.


Although President Barack Obama extolled Neil Armstrong’s exceptional calibre and space stature to the skies in a White House statement released on 25th August 2012 saying “he is among the greatest of American heroes not just of his time, but of all time”, Neil Armstrong deeply disagreed and spared with the present president over NASA’s uncertain future in describing on 14 April 2010 President’s Obama NASA plan as “devastating” according to NBC nightly news.


Neil Armstrong had physically disappeared from American life and the world scene after reaching new heights of knowledge, glory and deep and great insight. In terms of futuristic aeronautics and astronautics, he grasped both the political and philosophical awareness of a peace-loving world where superpowers should not act or rather assume the role of world policeman. Although he was a civilian who was groomed in the US military, he converged to a certain extent with the ideals shared among Anglo-American avant-garde elites who rejected British and American interventionism and imperialism abroad like Bertrand Russell, Noam Chomsky, Robert Fisk, Jonas Salk, Edward Said, Edward Hermann etcc.He also rebuffed to see himself merchandised and hyped up by both media moguls and his fiendish fans in the US who had wished to delight themselves by marketing his legacy from autograph to hair like an extraterrestrial holy being or mysterious man who knows the secrets of alien life.


Although he did not let any Principia Astronautica as a work of genius, his edifying deeds and outreach programs will continue to influence deeply and constructively space age communities in America and around the globe. Obviously, his space and moon legacy will shine forever like a beacon. No doubt, nightly and obscurantist societies will always remember him a prominent and perpetual shady statue man in a moonlit darkness from the first to the last quarter of the moon where moon rocks and moonstone would glitter unto the opaque atmosphere of our gloomy, endangered earth! Soon or later the sun is rising a splendid shining star and we will see Armstrong eclipsed as a strange dark side of the moon futilely bewailed by the unorthodox, moonstruck Pink Floyd, New England Quakers and Ohio crackers!


By Bouzekri Chakroune
[symple_box color=”blue” text_align=”left” width=”100%” float=”none”]bouzekri chakroune
Mr.Bouzekri Chakroune is a long-time writer for numerous dailies, weekly and monthly magazines since 2002. As a self-funded, independent researcher, he is writing on a large variety of topics related to political, literary profiles, cultural and international issues.