Neil Armstrong 1930-2012

NASA photoNeil Armstrong, the first person ever to step onto another planetary body, has died.  His words spoken during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to Earth's moon -- "That is one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind" -- instantly became a part of history.  Those few words from the Sea of Tranquility, NASA stated on its website, were the climactic fulfillment of the efforts and hopes of millions of people and the expenditure of billions of dollars.

A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Armstrong contributed his expertise to several Academies projects, and most recently served as a member of the Committee to Assess NASA's Aeronautics Flight Research Capabilities.