Astronaut Neil Armstrong dies at 82
Astronaut Neil Armstrong speaks on Capitol Hill during a ceremony during which he received a Congressional Gold Medal, in Washington, Wednesday, Nov 16, 2011. (AP / Evan Vucci)
Published Saturday, August 25, 2012 3:55PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, August 25, 2012 4:45PM EDT
CINCINNATI, Ohio -- The family of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, says he has died at age 82.
A statement from the family says he died following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures. It doesn't say where he died.
Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon July 20, 1969. He radioed back to Earth the historic news of "one giant leap for mankind."
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 184-pound satellite that sent shock waves around the world.
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 glamor of the space program.
Armstrong and fellow astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin spent nearly three hours walking on the moon, collecting samples, conducting experiments and taking photographs. In all, 12 Americans walked on the moon from 1969 to 1972.