Armstrong, 1st to walk on moon, has heart surgery

Aug 09, 2012
In this Monday, Feb. 20, 2012, file photo provided by NASA, Apollo 11 Astronaut Neil Armstrong speaks at a celebration dinner honoring John Glenn in Columbus, Ohio. Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, is recovering from heart surgery days after his 82nd birthday, a NASA spokesman said Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012. (AP Photo/NASA, Bill Ingalls, File)

(AP) — Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, was recovering Wednesday from heart surgery, days after his 82nd birthday.

It wasn't clear where the surgery occurred or where was recuperating. A NASA spokesman who talked to Armstrong's wife, Carol, said only that the former astronaut was recovering Wednesday. His birthday was Sunday.

A Facebook statement from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden wished Armstrong a quick recovery from cardiac bypass surgery.

"Neil's pioneering spirit will surely serve him well in this challenging time and the entire NASA Family is holding the Armstrong family in our thoughts and prayers," the statement said.

Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the on July 20, 1969, and he radioed back to Earth the historic news of "one giant leap for mankind." He spent nearly three hours walking on the moon with fellow astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin.

A message Wednesday on Aldrin's Twitter account also wished Armstrong well.

Armstrong and his wife married in 1999 and made their home in the Cincinnati suburb of Indian Hill, but he has largely stayed out of public view in recent years.

He spoke at Ohio State University during a February event honoring fellow astronaut John Glenn and the 50th anniversary of Glenn becoming the first American to orbit the Earth. In May, Armstrong joined Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida to support the opening of The National Flight Academy, which aims to teach math and science to kids through an aviation-oriented camp.

Explore further: Living on the edge: Rosetta's lander philae is set to take the plunge

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Lawmakers to honor pioneering US astronauts

Oct 21, 2011

The first American astronaut to orbit the Earth and the first men to walk on the moon will receive the US Congress's highest honor at a ceremony on November 16, a top lawmaker announced Friday.

First authorized bio of Neil Armstrong

Nov 04, 2005

A former curator of aeronautics at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington has written the only authorized biography of astronaut Neil Armstrong.

Famous lost word: The 'a' in 'one small step' line

Jul 19, 2009

(AP) -- When Neil Armstrong first spoke from the moon, he said one thing and people on Earth heard another. What the world heard was grammatically flubbed: "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind." Armstrong ...

NASA honors Apollo moon walker Buzz Aldrin

Mar 17, 2006

NASA will honor former astronaut Buzz Aldrin for his involvement in the U.S. space program with the presentation of the Ambassador of Exploration Award.

Apollo astronauts relive experiences at ceremony

Jul 18, 2009

(AP) -- It was a reunion of reunions. Twelve Apollo astronauts reminisced, traded stories and poked fun at each other Friday night as the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing and moonwalk approached.

Recommended for you

An anomaly in satellite flybys confounds scientists

1 hour ago

When space probes, such as Rosetta and Cassini, fly over certain planets and moons in order to gain momentum and travel long distances, their speed changes slightly for an unknown reason. A Spanish researcher ...

User comments : 0