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NASA mourns death of 'true American hero' Armstrong

August 26, 2012 14:53 IST

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has mourned the death of Neil Armstrong, a 'true American hero' and the first man to set foot on the moon.

"On behalf of the entire NASA family, I would like to express my deepest condolences to Carol and the rest of the Armstrong family on the passing of Neil Armstrong," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement.

Armstrong who set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969, passed away on Saturday. He was 82.  He had undergone a heart-bypass surgery earlier this month.

"As long as there are history books, Neil Armstrong will be included in them, emembered for taking humankind's first small step on a world beyond our own," Bolden said.

Armstrong who was commander of the Apollo 11 mission after landing on the Moon had remarked, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind".

"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," Bolden said.

"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," Bolden added.

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