One Small Step for Man: Neil Armstrong


By: Nathan Chandler

5 Min Quiz

Image: Wiki Commons

About This Quiz

Neil Armstrong was one of the most famous people on the planet. His feats with NASA sealed his legacy as one of the coolest and hardest-working legends in the history of flight. How much do you know about Armstrong and his adventures?

What feat did Armstrong accomplish before anyone else?

Armstrong will forever be known as the first human being to walk on the moon. His willingness to push personal and professional barriers make him a hero of mighty proportions.


Which of the following descriptions did Armstrong NOT have?

Armstrong was no attorney, but he was a professor and Navy pilot. He also flew test planes and had a degree in aerospace engineering.


One of Armstrong's childhood jobs found him working where?

Like many kids, Armstrong landed a job mowing lawns. Unlike most kids, he was mowing the grass at a local cemetery.


How many different models of aircraft did Armstrong fly during his career?

Armstrong knew his way around a cockpit. He flew more than 200 types of aircraft, including some rather dangerous experimental versions.


How old was Armstrong when he earned a student's pilot license?

Even as a young boy Armstrong was drawn to the skies. By age 16 he already had a student's license and knew he would pursue flight as a career.


Where did Armstrong receive his masters in aerospace engineering?

Armstrong attended Purdue, which is where he earned his bachelors degree, but he received his masters from the University of Southern California in 1970.


Armstrong was a Navy man who served in which war?

He flew combat missions during the Korean War. He was just 21 years old when he engaged the enemy in dangerous situations.


During one combat sortie Armstrong was forced to eject from his plane. What happened to him?

Armstrong was over enemy territory when anti-aircraft fire struck his plane. He was forced to eject, but fortunately, he was picked up by American troops.


What happened to Armstrong's plane after it was hit by anti-aircraft fire?

The enemy fire caused him to fly right into a metal pole that ripped off part of one wing. Yet he was still able to fly his wounded aircraft back to a safer location. It's those kinds of details that add to his monumental legend.


Armstrong flew just a few combat missions during the war.

Armstrong flew 78 combat missions, many of which put him in harm's way. His skill (and good fortune) kept him alive to pursue greater achievements after the war.


As a test pilot, Armstrong flew the experimental X-15, a plane that could achieve what maximum speed?

The hypersonic rocket-powered X-15 could hit speeds of 4,000 mph. Armstrong was one of only 12 pilots ever to fly these crazy planes.


What was the name of the mission that took Armstrong and two other astronauts to the moon?

It was a mission for the ages. Apollo 11 took Armstrong and one other man to the surface of the moon and home again.


In addition to the first moonwalk, Armstrong was the first to achieve what feat in space?

During the Gemini 8 mission, he became the first astronaut to dock two vehicles in space. His daring -- and competence -- meant that NASA entrusted Armstrong with many difficult tasks.


Armstrong is well-known as being the first man to walk on the moon. He was also a part of what other amazing space first?

Shortly after completing the first-ever docking maneuver during the Gemini mission, an emergency situation developed. A malfunctioning thruster sent the spacecraft into a dizzying spin.


Armstrong's first journey into space came as part of the Gemini 8 mission. How long was that mission planned to last?

The mission was intended to last three days, but then disaster struck. The team was in orbit for only eight hours before they had to abort due to a ruined thruster -- but they managed to return to Earth safely thanks in large part due to Armstrong's cool head.


Who was the commander of the Apollo 11 mission?

There were three men onboard the ship and Armstrong was the commander. He piloted the lunar module to the gray, dusty surface of the moon.


How much time did get Armstrong get to spend on the moon's surface?

For two and a half thrilling hours, Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin pranced around in the moon's low gravity, collecting samples and goofing off a bit, too.


Armstrong was one of the most famous people in history, and he was known for having what sort of personality?

Armstrong could have taken his celebrity into sky-high fame. But he really didn't like the public spotlight. His reserved personality meant that he preferred to remain a private individual.


Following the near-disaster of Gemini 8, some other astronauts began calling Armstrong by what nickname?

Armstrong's cool-under-pressure demeanor saved the men from death during Gemini 8. He was the Ice Commander.


How did Armstrong feel about being paired with Buzz Aldrin for the Apollo 11 landing?

Armstrong's cool and reserved nature didn't blend well with Adrin's more egotistical and aggressive nature. He wasn't exactly fond of his lunar-landing partner but they worked well as a team.


Following the moon mission, the astronauts were required to remain in quarantine for how long?

NASA authorities took no chances that the men might have dragged some scary contaminants from the moon. They had to stay in quarantine for three whole weeks before rejoining society.


Armstrong and Aldrin slept in the lunar module on the surface of the moon. Why did Armstrong struggle to rest?

He was certain he could hear a strange noise from a pump in the module, and he worried that a malfunction might put the mission at risk. Fortunately, there were no mishaps when the two blasted off of the moon.


In spite of his amazing achievements, Armstrong had almost no ego.

Armstrong's personally cool nature was no act. He had very little ego, one of the reasons he was so perfect for missions that required calculated reasoning ... and no unnecessary bravado.


One of Armstrong's children died at the age of 2. What happened to her?

Karen was just two when she developed brain cancer. Her health spiraled downward and she died in 1962, an event that changed her family's lives forever.


How did Karen's death affect Armstrong's personal and professional life?

Both Armstrong and his wife were profoundly affected by the child's death. He distanced himself from his wife and lost himself in his work.


In 2005, Armstrong became part of a lawsuit that involved what?

A barber who cut his hair collected the clippings … and then sold them for thousands of dollars. When Armstrong found out about it, he sued and won.


How long did Armstrong remain with NASA following the Apollo 11 mission?

Two years after Apollo 11 and the famous moon landing, Armstrong left NASA to become a professor at the University of Cincinnati. He taught (of course) aerospace engineering.


How long was Armstrong married to his first wife, Janet?

Armstrong was married to Janet for 38 years. She divorced him in 1994, citing emotional distance.


When did Armstrong die?

Armstrong died in 2012 at the age of 82 from complications during heart surgery. His remains were scattered at sea.


The moon landing was Armstrong's last journey into space.

Armstrong touched the moon … and his career in space was over. He never again left Earth.


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