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"That is one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

by Thomas from Vermont

This is Neil Armstrong in his space suit. ( www.windows.ucar.edu/. ../postcards.html)

Neil Armstrong was a pioneer who had these three traits: courage, determination and adventurousness. These qualities are important in an American hero because they make us feel we can do almost anything. Neil Armstrong was the first American man to land on the moon.

First, there is Neil's courage. One example of his courage is when a cable damaged the tip of his plane's wing during the Korean War. He had to have courage because it was a dangerous mission that almost killed him. He used a parachute to escape the crashing plane and landed in a rice field in safe territory. In 1962, his only daughter, Karen, died of a brain tumor when she was three years old. He had to have courage then because it was so difficult to have her die at such a young age. Neil Armstrong had to have courage again in 1966 because he almost died on his first space mission. On his Gemini mission, the capsule began spinning out of control. He timed hitting the thrusters so the spinning would stop, and he guided the capsule to an emergency splashdown. He saved two lives, his and his crewman's, David Scott.

Neil Armstrong as a fighter pilot

Second, there is Neilís determination. His mother spent a lot of time reading to Neil. When he was in first grade, he had read ninety books, and he could read as well as fifth graders. He skipped second grade. He loved reading and was determined to learn. When he was seven, he took really odd jobs like cutting grass in the graveyard to earn money. He took these odd jobs so he could earn money for flight lessons. Lastly, when Neil returned to Earth after going to the moon, he had to be quarantined for two weeks. When he left the closed room, he was very determined to go home and be with his family in Houston.

Neil Armstrong - footprint on the moon
Last, but not least, is Neilís adventurousness. He tested new planes. Most of the planes even broke the sound barrier! Two of his most exciting adventures were his Gemini 8 mission and moon landing. Gemini 8 conducted the first space docking in history. Neil was the first American man on the moon! I guess Neil is adventurous alright.

Neil Armstrong is looked up to for his achievements and these three traits: courage, determination and adventurousness. These traits were important to him because he would not have been as successful as he was without them. He is an American hero because he helped our country catch up with Russia in space exploration. When I see a jet up in the sky, I will always think of Neil Armstrong.

Written by Thomas from Vermont
Last changed on: 7/20/2006 4:11:27 PM

A Learning Center for Young Astronomers

Biographical data about Neil Armstrong

Kidport Reference Library
Read about the Moon Landing.

Apollo 11 30th Anniversary

Westman, Paul. Neil Armstrong, Space Pioneer. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications Company, 1980.

Zemlicka, Shannon. Neil Armstrong. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 2002.

"Neil Armstrong", . World Book Encyclopedia. 2003.

First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong
by James R. Hansen

Neil Armstrong: Young Pilot (Childhood of Famous Americans Series)
by Montrew Dunham
suggest a book crate your own hero page

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