Neil Armstrong, An Inspiration

We (a few engineering students from CEG) sat huddled in N.Kumar’s house. I think there were four of us (Kumar, me, R.K. Viswanath and Visweswaran). We were listening to the radio broadcast on the first moon landing. There was a lot of static. We knew that there was a last minute glitch with the computer. There was a bit of confusion and then we heard the announcement of landing. It was one of the memorable moments in my life.

I can’t believe that Neil Armstrong is no more. Can’t believe that he was 82, either. How time passes!

He was described as “stoic, self-controlled, dedicated, earnest, hardworking and honest.”

His own description of himself would warm every nerd’s heart – “I am, and ever will be, a white-sock, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer.”

When I read the news, my mind went back to those times when a few of us used to sit and talk about NASA’s missions, science fiction and how engineers can change the world. I used to frequently visit USIS and borrow books about NASA and read about the missions.

Much later, after reading Norman Mailer’s “Of a Fire On the Moon”, I understood a lot more about that mission that changed the world.

His quote “That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind” is a reflection of the culture at NASA. They continue to do amazing thing and make many giant leaps.  Neil’s mission to land on the moon was a big spark that ignited the whole world and inspired many countries to start space programs.

Neil Armstrong in the News.