From Hugh Downs, Chairman of the NSS Board of Governors: “News of Neil Armstrong’s passing is so shocking that there is no way it can be absorbed right away as reality. His position in history is deeper than that of any known discoverer or explorer in the history of this planet. As the first human to land on any world outside the Earth, and probably the first living creature of any sort to come from the Earth and reach the Moon, his legacy will be safe as long as intelligent life survives in this corner of the cosmos.”
From Paul E. Damphousse, NSS Executive Director: “Humanity will one day become a truly space-faring species and millions of people will venture beyond the Earth. But Neil Armstrong will always be the first among us to set foot on another world. Today we mark his passing and celebrate his place in history. He was one of the giants upon whose shoulders we stand, and we will honor his legacy by continuing our efforts to move humanity into the cosmos.”
From Buzz Aldrin, fellow Apollo 11 Astronaut and member of the NSS Board of Governors: “I am deeply saddened by the passing of my good friend, and space exploration companion, Neil Armstrong today. As Neil, Mike Collins and I trained together for our historic Apollo 11 Mission, we understood the many technical challenges we faced, as well as the importance and profound implications of this historic journey. We will now always be connected as the crew of the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon, yet for the many millions who witnessed that remarkable achievement for humankind, we were not alone.
“Whenever I look at the Moon I am reminded of that precious moment, over four decades ago, when Neil and I stood on the desolate, barren, yet beautiful, Sea of Tranquility, looking back at our brilliant blue planet Earth suspended in the darkness of space, I realized that even though we were farther away from Earth than two humans had ever been, we were not alone. Virtually the entire world took that memorable journey with us. I know I am joined by many millions of others from around the world in mourning the passing of a true American hero and the best pilot I ever knew. My friend Neil took the small step but giant leap that changed the world and will forever be remembered as a historic moment in human history.”
From Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator: “On behalf of the entire NASA family, I would like to express my deepest condolences to Carol and the rest of Armstrong family on the passing of Neil Armstrong. As long as there are history books, Neil Armstrong will be included in them, remembered for taking humankind’s first small step on a world beyond our own.
“Besides being one of America’s greatest explorers, Neil carried himself with a grace and humility that was an example to us all. When President Kennedy challenged the nation to send a human to the Moon, Neil Armstrong accepted without reservation. As we enter this next era of space exploration, we do so standing on the shoulders of Neil Armstrong. We mourn the passing of a friend, fellow astronaut and true American hero.”