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Yes, Neil Armstrong was a hero, because the man knew that he could die. Every single person involved in the moon launch/landing/return is a bonafide hero, in my book.

However.

...Buzz Aldrin was chosen when the mission plans were created to be the first man on the moon. Neil was supposed to exit later. Neil threw the plan out the window once they landed on the surface and actually denied Buzz the honor of being the first man on the moon, saying that because he was a Lt. Col and out-ranked Buzz (a Major) that he was going to go first. And the rest is history (very important history).

So, yes, he advanced mankind, but in that moment, he was a jerk. (And Buzz still hasn't let that go, and I think it's important to remember. Protocols exist for a reason.)

But we all know that the moon landing was faked in a Hollywood sound stage anyway. :)

Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
bdbdb
Aug. 26th, 2012 04:45 pm (UTC)
I'd always heard that Deke made the final decision. And that Buzz lobbied hard for it, which was part of the reason he didn't get it. Don't have a source to link you to, this is coming out of my memory and therefore is suspect. ;)
stoney321
Aug. 26th, 2012 04:57 pm (UTC)
This is coming from my husband and father in law (who worked on almost every Apollo and Shuttle mission.) Evidently this was common knowledge at Johnson SC.
lynnenne
Aug. 26th, 2012 05:43 pm (UTC)
I heard the same account. I have never heard the last-minute steal before! :(
kita0610
Aug. 26th, 2012 06:18 pm (UTC)
Yeah, me too. If it's true it makes me sad. :/
stoney321
Aug. 26th, 2012 06:29 pm (UTC)
It's true, but Buzz Aldrin *was* a drunk and an asshole. :D (Most astronauts are, quite honestly.)

They're humans. They just did extraordinary things, by every definition of the word.
lynnenne
Aug. 26th, 2012 06:59 pm (UTC)
According to this biography (page 365), there was a press conference on April 14, 1969 announcing that Armstrong would be the first man out. So it appears that the decision was made well in advance. I haven't been able to find the original NY Times article.
ivyfree
Aug. 29th, 2012 03:31 pm (UTC)
I was sixteen. We all knew that Neil Armstrong would be the first man. It was just frustrating: they landed, and waited several hours before actually setting foot on the moon. TV was on all evening, and we went outside to look at the moon. (And it looked pretty much like the full moon always does!) Headline next morning was THEY DID IT!!!! Huge, huge moment. Take that, commie bastards!
stoney321
Aug. 26th, 2012 06:32 pm (UTC)
According to my FiL (who was there in mission control) and my husband's BFF (whose father was one of the Shuttle pilot captains) there was an official statement re: the EVA craft, positioning inside, etc.

But the original plan laid out before launch was as I repeated. *shrug*
ruthless1
Aug. 26th, 2012 06:44 pm (UTC)
I actually know people who think it was faked. I try to say - my stepdad worked as an engineer on those missions. I just don't think they would have been paying his salary all those years if it was a fake mission. It made me weep the tears of the baby!Science God when I heard her say she wasn't convinced.
And Neil - I did not know this. Kind of a stinky move, man....

Edited at 2012-08-26 06:53 pm (UTC)
stoney321
Aug. 26th, 2012 07:20 pm (UTC)
One of my favorite things ever is Buzz Aldrin cold cocking some guy a few years ago when the guy got in his face and said the moon landing was faked. He was in his 70s!

Those guys are heroes, make no mistake. They all had issues in their personal lives, they weren't perfect people. To me, that's what makes what they achieved so extraordinary.
superdaintykate
Aug. 26th, 2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
That (Buzz clocking that asshole) is one of my favorite things in the history of ever. SCIENCE!
porridgebird
Aug. 26th, 2012 06:47 pm (UTC)
Wow, thanks for sharing. I never knew that before.
stoney321
Aug. 26th, 2012 07:21 pm (UTC)
Evidently many people didn't! I thought it was common knowledge.
kuzu_no_ha
Aug. 26th, 2012 08:48 pm (UTC)
It isn't common knowledge. Just like the fact that Washington was a pretty shitastic general isn't commong knowledge either. ERMERGERD EUR HERROERS!!!!
dovil
Aug. 26th, 2012 07:17 pm (UTC)
Plus Buzz Aldrin was played by James Masters and there was a shower scene, FOR SCIENCE!
stoney321
Aug. 26th, 2012 07:20 pm (UTC)
AHAHAHAHA! INDEED!
kseenaa
Aug. 27th, 2012 12:02 pm (UTC)
I never knew that... Hmm... Interesting.
bastardsnow
Aug. 27th, 2012 11:04 pm (UTC)
It was not in a Hollywood soundstage! I'm pretty sure it was in Arizona. Sheesh, try for some accuracy.
stoney321
Aug. 27th, 2012 11:25 pm (UTC)
HEEEEEEEEEEE!
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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