Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, has died aged 82. The former US astronaut, who will go down on history as the most famous pioneer of space exploration, passed away as the result of heart complications following surgery.
As commander of the Apollo 11 mission, he became the first person to set foot on the moon, on 20 July 1969, fulfilling the long-held dream of the United States to get there before the Soviet Union. His first words as he stepped on to the surface – “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” – instantly became one of the most recognizable phrases ever uttered.
Armstrong underwent heart bypass surgery earlier this month, just two days after his birthday on 5 August, to relieve blocked arteries.
His family released a statement on Saturday describing him as a “reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job”.