Archive for August, 2012

for Philippines, Indonesia, Belau/Palau as of 10:54 PM.

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Earthquake shake map of Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao USGS

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Ndrrmc Opcen: AREAS. The Tsunami Alert is in effect for the next TWO HOURS from time of issuance.



1. Northern Samar
2. Eastern Samar
3. Leyte
4. Southern Leyte
5. Surigao Del Norte
6. Surigao Del Sur

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Lord we pray for no after shocks, no tsunami, no one hurt. IN THE MIGHTY NAME OF JESUS we all take refuge.

– if you prayed this prayer… Agree with Amen.

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The Blue moon start at 9:58 p.m. Philippine time but before that time the Philippine experiencing an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.6 has struck off the coast of the Philippines, the U.S. Geological Survey said Friday.

It’s a negative sign of the blue moon. it’s really good or a bad sign?

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The quake prompted a tsunami warning for parts of the Philippines and Indonesia, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

“An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines near the epicenter within minutes and more distant coastlines within hours,” the tsunami warning center said.

The Geological Survey initially said the quake had a magnitude of 7.9 but later revised that figure.

A tsunami watch was in effect for the Marshall Islands, Wake Island, Solomon Islands, several other Pacific islands and parts of Russia, the center said. Authorities did not immediately know whether the earthquake actually had generated a tsunami.

The quake, which was about 20 miles deep, struck just before 8:50 p.m., the agency said. Its center was about 65 miles southeast of the coastal town of Guiuan, in the Philippine province of Eastern Samar.

Aimee Menguilla, information officer of Philippines’ National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said the agency is advising regional authorities to alert citizens about possible tsunami waves.

“This is not new to us,” she said. “We do regular tsunami exercises.” But people need to be “particularly alert” because the earthquake occurred at night.

She said the quake was centered in the Marianas Trench in the western Pacific Ocean and was felt in the country’s east. There have been no reports, she said, of damage or injuries.

A hotel employee in Guiuan said people have been advised to seek higher ground because of the tsunami warning. “We are advised to go up,” said Dan Molina.

Ed Serrano, the head of security at the Marco Polo Hotel in the city of Davao, about 250 miles south of Guiuan, said he felt the ground shake.

“The quake was very strong and the hotel guests were panicking. Most of them went outside,” he said. “But now, the situation is under control and we are waiting for official reports on how strong the quake was.”

Marie Elairon was working at the front desk of the Hotel Dona Vicenta in the town of Borongan, the capital of Eastern Samar province. She said she felt shaking for one or two minutes. The quake briefly cut power and phone service, she said. She was unaware of any injuries.

Joy Buano, who works at the Magueda Bay Hotel, said the quake shook the area around Catbalogan City. But she said she witnessed no injuries or damage.

An initial tsunami warning issued for Japan, Taiwan and several Pacific islands was lifted.

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A Tsunami Warning was issued after a 7.9-magnitude earthquake hit Eastern Samar a little past 8:30pm. Coastal areas facing the Pacific Ocean are immediately requested to evacuate. The following areas are:

1. Northern Samar
2. Eastern Samar
3. Leyte
4. Southern Leyte
5. Surigao Del Norte
6. Surigao Del Sur

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An earthquake of magnitude 7.9 hit 139km east of Sulangan, Samar, 8:45 p.m. Philippine Time, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

Meanwhile, the US’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a tsunami warning for Indonesia and the Philippines immediately after the earthquake.

In a live interview on GMA News’ “State of the Nation”, Phivolcs director Renato Solidum reiterated the tsunami warning and called for possible evacuation in affected areas.

“Dahil malakas ang lindol, nag-raise na ang Phivolcs ng tsunami warning and possible evacuation warning sa Samar, Southern Leyte, Surigao del Norte, and other provinces facing the Pacific Ocean,” he said.

“They should take precaution because posibleng one meter or more ang taas [ng alon],” he warned.

The USGS summary placed the epicenter of the earthquake in the sea just off the coast of Samar.

MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – A major 7.9 earthquake hit the sea area east of the Philippines on Friday and a tsunami warning was issued for the archipelago, Indonesia, Taiwan and Japan, US seismologists sai


The US Geological Survey said the quake had a depth of 34 kilometres (21 miles) and hit at 8:47 pm (1247 GMT) some 139 kilometres east of the city of Sulangan, eastern Samar.

A tsunami warning was also issued for Papua New Guinea and Guam, and a tsunami watch was in effect for the Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands and Nauru, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in a bulletin.

The warning center said any wave generated by the quake would be expected to hit Indonesia first.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said it was a magnitude 7.7 earthquake.

Phivolcs said the earthquake’s epicenter was recorded at the Philippine trench, between Samar Island and Mindanao at 8:47 p.m.

Authorities said Intensity 6 was felt in Ormoc and Sorsogon.

Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum said a tsunami warning alert has been raised in the coastal areas of eastern Samar, parts of southern Leyte and Surigao del Norte.

Solidum said residents in these areas are advised to evacuate their homes and go to higher ground as a precautionary measure.

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President Benigno Aquino III on Friday officially announced the appointment of Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas as the next Department of Interior and Local Government chief, replacing the late Jesse Robredo who died in a plane crash.

Cavite Representative Joseph Emilio Abaya, meanwhile, will take over Roxas’ post.

Aquino made the announcement in a Palace briefing at the President’s Hall past 1 in the afternoon. Both Roxas and Abaya were present when Aquino announced their new designations.

“Kailangan natin ng isang tao na may katulad sa atin na layunin. Kailangan ng isang kabalikat na magsusulong ng lahat ng prinsipyong ipinaglalaban natin. Sa kanya ako nagtiwala ano man ang mangyayari. Alam kong itutuloy mo, Mar, ang mga ipinaglalaban natin,” Aquino said on Roxas’ appointment.

Aquino said Roxas was on top of a “very short list” of names considered to replace Robredo, and that he is “very, very capable” of handling his new duties.

“Sa pagsabak ni Mar sa DILG, kailangang mahusay din ang pupuno sa iiwan niyang puwesto sa DOTC. At tiwala naman tayo sa kakayahan ni Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya,” Aquino said on Abaya’s appointment.

“Alam nating kung mapupunta sa maling kamay ang liderato ng ahensyang ito, madaling pagsamantalahan ang mga proyektong napakalaki, at napakateknikal kaya madali ring itago sa publiko. Kumpiyansa tayong maipagpapatuloy ni Jun ang mga proyekto sa DOTC,” Aquino also said.

The President appealed to the Commission on Appointments to quickly act on the appointments of Roxas and Abaya.

“Nakikiusap po tayo sa Commission on Appointments sa Kongreso na ikumpirma sa lalong madaling panahon sina Mar at Jun,” Aquino said.

“Hindi po sila makakaupo hangga’t hindi sila nako-confirm ng Commission on Appointments. Kailangan na po natin sila upang agad na ring maka-arangkada ang mga proyekto’t inisyatiba ng kani-kanilang kagawaran, at ng buong bayan,” Aquino added.

Roxas and Abaya are ranking officials of the ruling Liberal Party: Roxas is party president while Abaya is the secretary-general. Aquino is party chairman.

Accepting his new designation, Roxas vowed to continue the policies started by Robredo.

“Napakalaki, napakalawak, napakaselan at napakabigat ng responsibilidad ng pagiging DILG secretary. More than this, I have big shoes or tsinelas to fill. Hindi po ako si Jessie Robredo. Marami pa po akong kakulangan,” Roxas said.

“Pabubungahin ko ang kanyang [Robredo] mga itinanim lalo na ang pagbibigay ng dignidad sa mamamayan. Transparency, accountability and people empowerment at ang pagsali ng karaniwang tao sa pagdedesisyon…. Ito ang hallmarks ng liderato ni Sec Jesse at lahat ng ito ay ipagpapatuloy natin,” he added.
Meanwhile, Abaya said taking over Roxas’ post as DOTC secretary will be no easy feat.

“Succeeding Sec. Mar… are tough shoes to fill, too,” Abaya said.

However, he vowed to do his best in his new position and to continue with the projects started by Roxas in the DOTC.

He also mentioned improving airport infrastructures as one of his plans, and promised to continue the investigation regarding Robredo’s death.

Budget Secretary Butch Abad was the only other LP member in Aquino’s Cabinet aside from Roxas before the day’s announcement was made.

The among names floated for Robredo’s replacement included Mar, Abaya, Senator Panfilo Lacson, former Isabela Governor Grace Padaca and Davao City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

Roxas: From banker to senator then Secretary

Born Manuel Araneta Roxas II on May 13, 1957, Roxas graduated from the Wharton School of Economics of the University of Pennsylvania in 1979.
He then worked as an investment banker in New York until 1986 and eventually became assistant vice president of the New York-based firm Allen & Company.
He also helped organize a series of investment roundtable discussions with the American business community for then President Corazon Aquino, mother of President Benigno Aquino III.
Roxas also served as congressman representing the first district of Capiz from 1993 to 2000.  He also served as majority leader at the House of Representatives.
He also headed the Department of Trade and Industry from 2000 to 2003, during the administration of former Presidents Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
In 2004, he was elected as a senator with nearly 20 million votes, supposedly the highest for any senator in Philippine history.
In 2007, he was appointed by officials of the Liberal Party national executive council as party president.
Roxas was supposed to run for president in the 2010 national elections but he eventually decided to run as Aquino’s vice president.  However, he lost to now Vice President Jejomar Binay, against whom he has a pending electoral protest.
After the one-year constitutional ban on the appointment of defeated candidates lapsed, Aquino appointed Roxas as secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications on June 7, 2011, replacing Jose de Jesus.

In October 2011, the Commission on Appointments confirmed Roxas’ appointment.

Roxas, 55, is married to ABS-CBN News anchor Korina Sanchez.

For a complete list of his projects and achievements, you may click here.

Abaya: Emilio Aguinaldo’s great grandson

Abaya, 46, is the second son of three-term first district Cavite Rep. Plaridel Abaya and the great grandson of former President Emilio Aguinaldo.
He studied electrical engineering at the University of the Philippines from 1983 to 1984.  While he was studying there, he took the entrance exams for the Philippine Military Academy.
He topped the exams and was sent to study at the United States Naval Academy in Maryland, USA where he earned a mathematics degree in 1988.  He graduated with honors and was ranked second among all the graduates.
He went on to earn a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1990 from Cornell University in New York and a law degree from the Ateneo de Manila University in 2005.
Abaya is on his second term as representative of the first district of Cavite.

He is currently the chairperson of the House committee on appropriations and secretary general of the Liberal Party.

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Blue Moon (August 31, 2012)

A blue moon will grace the night sky tonight (Aug. 31), giving skywatchers their last chance to observe this celestial phenomenon for nearly three years.

The moon will wax to its full phase at 9:58 p.m.  today, bringing August’s full moon count to two (the first one occurred Aug. 1). Two full moons won’t rise in a single month again until July 2015.

But don’t expect tonight’s full moon to actually appear blue, unless you’re peering through a thick haze of volcanic ash or forest fire smoke. “Blue moon” is not a reference to the satellite’s observed color.

The term has long been used to describe rare or absurd happenings. And farmers once employed it to denote the third full moon in a season — spring, summer, autumn or winter — that has four full moons instead of the usual three. [Photos: The Blue Moon and Full Moons of 2012]

‘The next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.’

– Armstrong family statement

This somewhat obscure and complicated definition, in fact, is found in the 1937 edition of the “Maine Farmers’ Almanac.” But in 1946, a writer for “Sky and Telescope” magazine misinterpreted it, declaring a blue moon to be the second full moon in a month with two of them.

Widespread adoption of the new (and incorrect) definition apparently began in 1980, after the popular radio program “StarDate” used it during a show.

Blue moons  occur because lunar months are not synched up perfectly with our calendar months. It takes the moon 29.5 days to orbit Earth, during which time we see the satellite go through all of its phases. But every calendar month (except February) has 30 or 31 days, so two full moons occasionally get squeezed into a single month.

Though the phrase “once in a blue moon” suggests the phenomenon is exceedingly rare, that’s not quite the case. On average, blue moons come around once every 2.7 years, making them more common than the Summer Olympics, or a presidential election in the United States.

Some years even boast two blue moons. This last happened in 1999, and it will occur again in 2018.

Tonight’s blue moon also happens to fall on the day of late astronaut Neil Armstrong’s memorial service. Armstrong, who on July 20, 1969 became the first person to set foot on the moon, died Aug. 25 following complications from heart surgery.

So stargazers may want to keep Armstrong’s “one small step” in mind as they gaze up tonight.

“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request,” Armstrong’s family wrote in a statement shortly after his death. “Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”

A blue moon can refer to either the third full moon in a season with four full moons, or the second full moon in a month.[1] Most years have twelve full moons that occur approximately monthly. In addition to those twelve full lunar cycles, each solar calendar year contains roughly eleven days more than the lunar year of 12 lunations. The extra days accumulate, so every two or three years (7 times in the 19-year Metonic cycle), there is an extra full moon. Lunisolar calendars have rules about when to insert such an intercalary or embolismic (“leap”) month, and what name it is given; e.g. in the Hebrew calendar the month Adar is duplicated. The term “blue moon” comes from folklore. Different traditions and conventions place the extra “blue” full moon at different times in the year. In the Hindu calendar, this extra month is called ‘Adhik(extra) masa (month)’. It is also known as purushottam maas, so as to give it a devotional name.

  • In calculating the dates for Lent and Easter, the Clergy identify the Lent Moon. It is thought that historically when the moon’s timing was too early, they named an earlier moon as a “betrayer moon” (belewe moon), thus the Lent moon came at its expected time.[2]
  • Folklore gave each moon a name according to its time of year. A moon that came too early had no folk name, and was called a blue moon, retaining the correct seasonal timings for future moons.
  • The Farmers’ Almanac defined blue moon as an extra full moon that occurred in a season; one season was normally three full moons. If a season had four full moons, then the third full moon was named a blue moon.

A “blue moon” is also used colloquially to mean “a rare event”, reflected in the phrase “once in a blue moon”

Early English and Christian

The earliest recorded English usage of the term “blue moon” was in a 1524 pamphlet violently attacking the English clergy,[4] entitled “Rede Me and Be Not Wrothe” (“Read me and be not angry”; or possibly “Counsel Me and Be Not Angry”[5]): “If they say the moon is belewe / We must believe that it is true” [If they say the moon is blue, we must believe that it is true].

Another interpretation uses another Middle English meaning of belewe, which (besides “blue”) can mean “betray”.[2] By the 18th century, before the Gregorian calendar reform, the medieval computus was out of sync with the actual seasons and the moon, and occasionally spring would have begun and a full moon passed a month before the computus put the first spring moon.[6][7] Thus, the clergy needed to tell the people whether the full moon was the Easter moon or a false one, which they may have called a “betrayer moon” (belewe moon) after which people would have had to continue fasting for another month in accordance with the season of Lent.[8]

Modern interpretation of the term relates to absurdities and impossibilities; the phrase “once in a blue moon” refers to an event that will take place only at incredibly rare occasions.[9]

Visibly blue moon

The most literal meaning of blue moon is when the moon (not necessarily a full moon) appears to a casual observer to be unusually bluish, which is a rare event. The effect can be caused by smoke or dust particles in the atmosphere, as has happened after forest fires in Sweden and Canada in 1950 and 1951,[10] and after the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883, which caused the moon to appear blue for nearly two years. Other less potent volcanos have also turned the moon blue. People saw blue moons in 1983 after the eruption of the El Chichon volcano in Mexico, and there are reports of blue moons caused by Mount St. Helens in 1980 and Mount Pinatubo in 1991.[11]

On September 23, 1950, several muskeg fires that had been smoldering for several years in Alberta, Canada suddenly blew up into major — and very smoky — fires. Winds carried the smoke eastward and southward with unusual speed, and the conditions of the fire produced large quantities of oily droplets of just the right size (about 1 micrometre in diameter) to scatter red and yellow light. Wherever the smoke cleared enough so that the sun was visible, it was lavender or blue. Ontario, Canada and much of the east coast of the United States were affected by the following day, and two days later, observers in Britain reported an indigo sun in smoke-dimmed skies, followed by an equally blue moon that evening.[11]

The key to a blue moon is having lots of particles slightly wider than the wavelength of red light (0.7 micrometre) — and no other sizes present. This is rare, but volcanoes sometimes produce such clouds, as do forest fires. Ash and dust clouds thrown into the atmosphere by fires and storms usually contain a mixture of particles with a wide range of sizes, with most smaller than 1 micrometre, and they tend to scatter blue light. This kind of cloud makes the moon turn red; thus red moons are far more common than blue moons.[12]

Farmers’ Almanac blue moons

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Maine Farmers’ Almanac listed blue moon dates for farmers. These correspond to the third full moon in a quarter of the year when there were four full moons (normally a quarter year has three full moons). Full moon names are given to each moon in a season: For example, the first moon of summer is called the early summer moon, the second is called the midsummer moon, and the last is called the late summer moon. When a season has four moons the third is called the blue moon so that the last can continue to be called the late moon.

The division of the year into quarters starts with the nominal vernal equinox on or around March 21.[13] This is close to the astronomical season but follows the Christian computus used for calculations of Easter, which places the equinox at a fixed date in the (Gregorian) calendar.

Some[weasel words] naming conventions[citation needed] keep the moon’s seasonal name for its entire cycle, from its appearance as a new moon through the full moon to the next new moon. In this convention a blue moon starts with a new moon and continues until the next new moon starts the late season moon.

Sky and Telescope calendar misinterpretation

The March 1946 Sky and Telescope article “Once in a Blue Moon” by James Hugh Pruett misinterpreted the 1937 Maine Farmers’ Almanac. “Seven times in 19 years there were — and still are — 13 full moons in a year. This gives 11 months with one full moon each and one with two. This second in a month, so I interpret it, was called Blue Moon.” Widespread adoption of the definition of a “blue moon” as the second full moon in a month followed its use on the popular radio program StarDate on January 31, 1980.[1][14]

Blue moons between 2009 and 2016

The following blue moons occur between 2009 and 2016. These dates use UTC as the timezone; exact dates vary with different timezones.


Using the Farmers’ Almanac definition of blue moon (meaning the third full moon in a season of four full moons), blue moons occur

  • November 21, 2010
  • August 21, 2013
  • May 21, 2016

It seems that The Farmers Almanac, even though it describes the Sky & Telescope ‘invention’ of the new definition, is now using the new definition of blue moon on its calendar,[15] therefore indicating that the blue moon is August 31, 2012 instead of August 21, 2013.


Unlike the astronomical seasonal definition, these dates are dependent on the Gregorian calendar and time zones.

Two full moons in one month:[16]

  • 2009: December 2, December 31 (partial lunar eclipse visible in some parts of the world), only in time zones west of UTC+05.
  • 2010: January 1 (partial lunar eclipse), January 30, only in time zones east of UTC+04:30.
  • 2010: March 1, March 30, only in time zones east of UTC+07.
  • 2012: August 2, August 31, only in time zones west of UTC+08.
  • 2015: July 2, July 31

The next time New Year’s Eve falls on a Blue Moon (as occurred on 2009 December 31) is after one Metonic cycle, in 2028. At that time there will be a total lunar eclipse.

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Neil Armstrong was a quiet, self-described “nerdy” engineer who became a global hero when as a steely-nerved U.S. pilot he made “one giant leap for mankind” with the first step on the moon.

The modest man who entranced and awed people on Earth has died. He was 82.

Armstrong died Saturday following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures, a statement from his family said. It didn’t say where he died.

Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon July 20, 1969, capping the most daring of the 20th century’s scientific expeditions. His first words after setting foot on the surface are etched in history books and in the memories of those who heard them in a live broadcast.

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” Armstrong said.

In those first few moments on the moon, during the climax of a heated space race with the then-Soviet Union, Armstrong stopped in what he called “a tender moment” and left a patch to commemorate NASA astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts who had died in action.

“It was special and memorable, but it was only instantaneous because there was work to do,” Armstrong told an Australian television interviewer this year.

Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin spent nearly three hours walking on the lunar surface, collecting samples, conducting experiments and taking photographs.

“The sights were simply magnificent, beyond any visual experience that I had ever been exposed to,” Armstrong once said.

The moonwalk marked America’s victory in the Cold War space race that began Oct. 4, 1957, with the launch of the Soviet Union’s Sputnik 1, a satellite that sent shock waves around the world.

An estimated 600 million people — a fifth of the world’s population — watched and listened to the moon landing, the largest audience for any single event in history.

Parents huddled with their children in front of the family television, mesmerized. Farmers abandoned their nightly milking duties, and motorists pulled off the highway and checked into motels just to watch on TV.

Although he had been a Navy fighter pilot, a test pilot for NASA’s forerunner and an astronaut, Armstrong never allowed himself to be caught up in the celebrity and glamour of the space program.

“I am, and ever will be, a white socks, pocket protector, nerdy engineer,” he said in February 2000 in one of his rare public appearances. “And I take a substantial amount of pride in the accomplishments of my profession.”

A man who kept away from cameras, Armstrong went public in 2010 with his concerns about President Barack Obama’s space policy that shifted attention away from a return to the moon and emphasized private companies developing spaceships. He testified before Congress, and in an email to The Associated Press he said he had “substantial reservations.”

NASA chief Charles Bolden recalled Armstrong’s grace and humility in a statement Saturday.

“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,” Bolden said.

Armstrong’s modesty and self-effacing manner never faded.

When he appeared in Dayton, Ohio, in 2003 to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of powered flight, he bounded onto a stage before 10,000 people. But he spoke for only a few seconds, did not mention the moon and quickly ducked out of the spotlight.

He later joined former astronaut and Sen. John Glenn to lay wreaths on the graves of airplane inventors Wilbur and Orville Wright. Glenn introduced Armstrong and noted it was 34 years to the day that Armstrong had walked on the moon.

“Thank you, John. Thirty-four years?” Armstrong quipped, as if he hadn’t given it a thought.

At another joint appearance, the two embraced and Glenn commented: “To this day, he’s the one person on Earth, I’m truly, truly envious of.”

Armstrong’s moonwalk capped a series of accomplishments that included piloting the X-15 rocket plane and making the first space docking during the Gemini 8 mission, which included a successful emergency splashdown.

In the years afterward, Armstrong retreated to the quiet of the classroom and his Ohio farm. Aldrin said in his book “Men from Earth” that Armstrong was one of the quietest, most private men he had ever met.

In the Australian interview, Armstrong acknowledged that “now and then I miss the excitement about being in the cockpit of an airplane and doing new things.”

At the time of the flight’s 40th anniversary, Armstrong again was low-key, telling a gathering that the space race was “the ultimate peaceful competition: USA versus U.S.S.R. It did allow both sides to take the high road, with the objectives of science and learning and exploration.”

Glenn, who went through jungle training in Panama with Armstrong as part of the astronaut program, described him as “exceptionally brilliant” with technical matters but “rather retiring, doesn’t like to be thrust into the limelight much.”

Glenn told CNN on Saturday that Armstrong had had a number of close calls in his career, including during the moon landing, when they had less than a minute of fuel remaining on arrival.

“He was a good friend and he’ll be missed,” Glenn told the network.

Derek Elliott, curator of the Smithsonian Institution’s U.S. Air and Space Museum from 1982 to 1992, said the moonwalk probably marked the high point of space exploration.

“The fact that we were able to see it and be a part of it means that we are in our own way witnesses to history,” he said.

The 1969 landing met an audacious deadline that President John F. Kennedy had set in May 1961, shortly after Alan Shepard became the first American in space with a 15-minute suborbital flight. Soviet cosmonaut Yuri A. Gagarin had orbited the Earth and beaten the U.S. into space the previous month.

“I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth,” Kennedy had said. “No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important to the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.”

The end-of-decade goal was met with more than five months to spare. “Houston: Tranquility Base here,” Armstrong radioed after the spacecraft settled onto the moon. “The Eagle has landed.”

“Roger, Tranquility,” the Houston staffer radioed back. “We copy you on the ground. You’ve got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We’re breathing again. Thanks a lot.”

The third astronaut on the mission, Michael Collins, circled the moon in the mother ship Columbia while Armstrong and Aldrin went to the moon’s surface.

Collins told NASA on Saturday that he will miss Armstrong terribly, spokesman Bob Jacobs tweeted.

In all, 12 American astronauts walked on the moon between 1969 and the last moon mission in 1972.

For Americans, reaching the moon provided uplift and respite from the Vietnam War. The landing occurred as organizers were preparing for Woodstock, the legendary rock festival on a farm in New York.

Armstrong was born Aug. 5, 1930, on a farm in Ohio. He took his first airplane ride at age 6 and developed a fascination with aviation that prompted him to build model airplanes and conduct experiments in a homemade wind tunnel. He was licensed to fly at 16, before he got his driver’s license.

Armstrong enrolled in Purdue University to study aeronautical engineering but was called to duty with the U.S. Navy in 1949 and flew 78 combat missions in Korea. After the war, Armstrong finished his degree and later earned a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California. He became a test pilot with what evolved into the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, flying more than 200 kinds of aircraft from gliders to jets.

Armstrong was accepted into NASA’s second astronaut class in 1962 — the first, including Glenn, was chosen in 1959 — and commanded the Gemini 8 mission in 1966. After the first space docking, he brought the capsule back in an emergency landing in the Pacific Ocean when a wildly firing thruster kicked it out of orbit.

Armstrong was backup commander for the historic Apollo 8 mission at Christmastime in 1968. In that flight, Commander Frank Borman, and Jim Lovell and Bill Anders circled the moon 10 times, and paving the way for the lunar landing seven months later.

Aldrin said he and Armstrong were not prone to free exchanges of sentiment.

“But there was that moment on the moon, a brief moment, in which we sort of looked at each other and slapped each other on the shoulder … and said, `We made it. Good show,’ or something like that,” Aldrin said.

In Wapakoneta, media and souvenir frenzy was swirling around the home of Armstrong’s parents.

“You couldn’t see the house for the news media,” recalled John Zwez, former manager of the Neil Armstrong Air and Space Museum. “People were pulling grass out of their front yard.”

Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins were given ticker tape parades in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles and later made a 22-nation world tour. A homecoming in Wapakoneta drew 50,000 people to the city of 9,000.

In 1970, Armstrong was appointed deputy associate administrator for aeronautics at NASA but left the following year to teach aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati.

He remained there until 1979 and during that time bought a farm, where he raised cattle and corn. He stayed out of public view, accepting few requests for interviews or speeches.

“He didn’t give interviews, but he wasn’t a strange person or hard to talk to,” said Ron Huston, a colleague at the University of Cincinnati. “He just didn’t like being a novelty.”

In February 2000, when he agreed to announce the top 20 engineering achievements of the 20th century as voted by the National Academy of Engineering, Armstrong said there was one disappointment relating to his moonwalk.

“I can honestly say — and it’s a big surprise to me — that I have never had a dream about being on the moon,” he said.

Armstrong married Carol Knight in 1999. He had two adult sons from a previous marriage.

His family’s statement Saturday made a simple request for anyone who wanted to remember him:

“Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”

-Fox News
Neil Armstrong
Neil Alden Armstrong is an American former NASA astronaut, test pilot, aerospace engineer, university professor, United States Naval Aviator, and the first person to set foot upon the Moon
Died: August 25, 2012, Columbus
Born: August 5, 1930, Wapakoneta
Spouse: Carol Held Knight (m. 1994), Janet Shearon (m. 1956–1994)

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