Neil Armstrong

I suppose it is inevitable that your heroes die as you get older. I was just finishing my O’ levels when Armstrong took his “one small step”. I can remember clearly looking up at the moon on that day in 1969 in awe that there were two human beings on that satellite at the very moment I was watching it.

To a boy weaned on a diet of pulp SF where lunar landings were commonplace and the Grey Lensman fought the Boskonian criminals across the Galaxy, Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins were the real deal. True heroes, breaking boundaries and setting new frontiers. Now, as a middle aged man, I know that all too often your heroes can turn out to have clay feet. Not so with Neil Armstrong. A self professed “nerdy engineer”, he remains to me, as to millions of others of my generation, an inspiration.

He died on saturday 25 August 2012 at the age of 82.

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