Today in History – July 20, 1969/1972 – Neil Armstrong walks on the Moon/Lockheed SR-71A, 61-7978, Article 2029, lost in landing accident at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa.

July 20, 1969 – Neil Armstrong and Apollo 11 Lunar Module (LM) pilot Buzz Aldrin became the first people to land on the Moon, and the next day they spent two and a half hours outside the spacecraft while Michael Collins remained in lunar orbit in the mission’s command module (CM). When Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface, he famously said: “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Armstrong was an American astronaut and aeronautical engineer and the first person to walk on the Moon. He was also a naval aviator, test pilot, and university professor.

Armstrong joined the NASA Astronaut Corps in the second group, which was selected in 1962. He made his first spaceflight as command pilot of Gemini 8 in March 1966, becoming NASA’s first civilian astronaut to fly in space.

Along with Collins and Aldrin, Armstrong was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Richard Nixon. President Jimmy Carter presented Armstrong with the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978, and Armstrong and his former crewmates received a Congressional Gold Medal in 2009. (1)

July 20, 1972 – Nicknamed “Rapid Rabbit,” Lockheed SR-71A, 61-7978 was written off on 20 July 1972 during the roll-out phase of its landing at Kadena AB, Okinawa. The pilot, Capt. Dennis K. Bush had practiced a rapid deploy-jettison of the braking parachute. A go-around was initiated after the chute was jettisoned. On the next landing attempt, the aircraft touched down slightly “hot,” but had no chute to reduce the aircraft’s speed. The pilot was unable to keep the plane on the runway. The aircraft suffered significant damage. The pilot and the RSO, Capt. James W. Fagg escaped without injury.

Source: Wikipedia,


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