The 11 biggest myths about Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon

  • Portrait of the prime crew of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission. From left to right they are: Commander, Neil A. Armstrong, Command Module Pilot, Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot, Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. On July 20th 1969 at 4:18 PM, EDT the Lunar Module "Eagle" landed in a region of the Moon called the Mare Tranquillitatis, also known as the Sea of Tranquillity. After securing his spacecraft, Armstrong radioed back to earth: "Houston, Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed". At 10:56 p.m. that same evening and witnessed by a worldwide television audience, Neil Armstrong stepped off the "Eagle's landing pad onto the lunar surface and said: "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." He became the first human to set foot upon the Moon. NASA/Johnson Space Center

    Neil Armstrong: NASA

    As the world celebrates the 45th anniversary of the first moon landing made by American spacecraft Apollo 11, on July 20, 1969, the man who took those historic first steps is the subject of renewed fascination. Historian James R. Hansen, author of the only authorized biography of Neil Armstrong, says the iconic Apollo 11 commander is often misunderstood.

    As Hansen writes in his New York Times bestseller, "First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong," (Simon and Schuster), Armstrong, because he was such a private and introspective man who was so hard to know, "turned out in later years to be myth personified, an enigma prime to be filled with meaning by others." Armstrong died in 2012, but his legend -- as well as the myths -- live on.

    Read on for Hansen's list of the ten biggest myths about Neil Armstrong...

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