60 Interesting Facts About Neil Armstrong

Last updated on July 21st, 2023

Personal Life

43. In the 1980s, a hoax claimed that Armstrong converted to Islam because he heard the call to prayer while he was walking on the moon.

44. In the 1950s, he wrote his religious affiliation as deist when he was applying to lead a Boy Scout troop. Deism favours empirical observations as sufficient proof of a Supreme Being.

45. He may have quit his dangerous job as a test pilot but he continued flying until his 70s.

46. He moved to a dairy farm at the same time that he took up teaching. In 1978, he tore the tip of a finger after his wedding ring got caught in a grain truck wheel. Surgeons were able to reattach the severed tip.

47. Armstrong and his first wife separated in 1990. The divorce was finalized in 1994, ending 38 years of marriage. He eventually married his second wife, Carol Held Knight, whom he met at a 1992 golf tournament.

Neil Armstrong poses on the background of his picture during a visit to Spain in 2005.
Neil Armstrong poses on the background of his picture during a visit to Spain in 2005. Interesting facts about Neil Armstrong. Image credit – Lyudmila Topchiy

48. He had a legal tussle with his long-time barber, Mark Sizemore. The latter sold his hair to a collector for $3,000 without permission. Sizemore donated the proceeds to charity to avoid an escalation.

Illness and Death

49. Neil Armstrong died on August 25, 2012, almost three weeks after celebrating his 82nd birthday. It was due to complications following a bypass surgery.

50. The White House, then occupied by President Obama, released a statement naming him as one of the greatest American heroes of all time.

51. The Armstrong family asked the public to honour his service and modesty. They also told people to think of Neil Armstrong when they look at the moon and give him a wink. The Twitter hashtag #WinkAtTheMoon became a trending topic.

Armstrong Memorial Service, facts about Neil Armstrong
An image of Neil Armstrong is projected on a television screen as attendees sit in the Nave during a memorial service celebrating the life of Neil Armstrong at the Washington National Cathedral, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. Interesting facts about Neil Armstrong. Image credit – NASA HQ PHOTO

52. On September 13, 2012, a tribute was held at the Washington National Cathedral. The structure has a Space Window that illustrates the Apollo 11 mission. It also has a piece of moon rock in the stained-glass panels.

53. Although there was a clamour to hold a state funeral, Armstrong’s family stayed true to his preference for privacy. They elected to have private funeral, after which the ashes were scattered in the Atlantic Ocean by the crew of the USS Philippine Sea.

54. In 2019, the New York Times reported of a medical malpractice suit filed by the Armstrong family against the Mercy Health Hospital. This resulted in a $6 million settlement.


55. In his honour, a lunar impact crater is now named Armstrong. This is located 31 miles from the Apollo 11 landing site. His crew-mates Aldrin and Collins have their own craters as well.

This item is on display in the (soon-to-be closed?) Neil Armstrong museum in Wapakoneta, Ohio. Interesting facts about Neil Armstrong. Image credit – Anthony Crider

56. There is also an asteroid named 6469 Armstrong. This space rock is 3 km in diameter. It goes around the Sun with a path between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars.

57. In his hometown of Wapakoneta, there is an Armstrong Air and Space Museum. Exhibits include some of his spacesuits, aircrafts, and memorabilia.

58. Armstrong received many offers to publish his biography but turned most of them down. Eventually, he agreed to work with James Hansen resulting in the book “First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong” which was published in 2005.

59. The biography had a film adaptation released in 2018. It starred Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy. Steven Spielberg served as executive producer.

A Replica of the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing Module.
A Replica of the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing Module. Maybe the best replica of the ‘First Flight Lunar Module’ in the United States. The model is half scale and stands nearly 13 feet tall and 12 feet wide and weighs about two tons (the origin LM weighed 18 tons including fuel for descent and lunar take off). It’s said to includes all the spacecraft’s antennae, operational lights and attachments. It is estimated that more than 3,000 man hours went into the module’s construction. Interesting facts about Neil Armstrong. Image credit – Jack Pearce

60. Neil Armstrong inspired the Terrain Relative Navigation system of NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover. During the lunar landing, he navigated away from the original landing site because it turned out to be a boulder field. The TRN system was created to adapt in the same manner to keep the rover out of harm’s way.

Neil Armstrong quotes

1. “Research is creating new knowledge.”

2. “Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man’s desire to understand.”

3. “I guess we all like to be recognized not for one piece of fireworks, but for the ledger of our daily work.”

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

5. “Well, I think we tried very hard not to be overconfident, because when you get overconfident, that’s when something snaps up and bites you.”

6. “Science has not yet mastered prophecy. We predict too much for the next year and yet far too little for the next 10.”

7. “I think we’re going to the moon because it’s in the nature of the human being to face challenges. It’s by the nature of his deep inner soul… we’re required to do these things just as salmon swim upstream.”

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

9. “Gliders, sail planes, they’re wonderful flying machines. It’s the closest you can come to being a bird.”

10. “People love conspiracy theories.”

Neil Armstrong Air & Space Museum, Wapakoneta, Ohio.
Neil Armstrong Air & Space Museum, Wapakoneta, Ohio. Interesting facts about Neil Armstrong. Image credit – OZinOH

11. “Yeah, I wasn’t chosen to be first. I was just chosen to command that flight. Circumstance put me in that particular role. That wasn’t planned by anyone.”

12. “As a boy, because I was born and raised in Ohio, about 60 miles north of Dayton, the legends of the Wrights have been in my memories as long as I can remember.”

13. “I thought the attractions of being an astronaut were actually, not so much the Moon, but flying in a completely new medium.”

14. “Pilots take no special joy in walking. Pilots like flying.”

15. “Geologists have a saying – rocks remember.”

16. “Shoot for the stars but if you happen to miss shoot for the moon instead.”

17. “The important achievement of Apollo was demonstrating that humanity is not forever chained to this planet and our visions go rather further than that and our opportunities are unlimited.”

18. “The single observation I would offer for your consideration is that some things are beyond your control. You can lose your health to illness or accident. You can lose your wealth to all manner of unpredictable sources. What are not easily stolen from you without your cooperation are your principles and your values. They are your most important possessions and, if carefully selected and nurtured, will well serve you and your fellow man.”

19. “Knowledge is fundamental to all human achievements and progress. It is both the key and the quest that advances mankind. The search for knowledge is what brought men to the moon; but it took knowledge already acquired to make it possible to get there.

How we use the knowledge we gain determines our progress on earth, in space or on the moon. Your library is a storehouse for mind and spirit. Use it well.

Neil Armstrong – quick facts and statistics

BornNeil Alden Armstrong
August 5, 1930
Wapakoneta, Ohio, U.S.
DiedAugust 25, 2012 (aged 82)
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
Languages KnownEnglish
Age at the time of death82 years
Field of Workaeronautical engineer, pilot, and astronaut
AwardsPresidential Medal of Freedom (1969),
Collier Trophy (1969),
Hubbard Medal (1970),
Sylvanus Thayer Award (1971),
Langley Gold Medal (1999),
Congressional Space Medal of Honor (1978),
Congressional Gold Medal (2009) and many more
Scientific contributionsSpace exploration
Alma materPurdue University (BS)
University of Southern California (MS)
ParentsStephen Armstrong
Viola Armstrong
SiblingDean Armstrong
June Armstrong
SpousesJanet Shearon (m. 1956 - div. 1994)
Carol Held Knight (m. 1994 - 2012)
ChildrenKaren Armstrong
Eric Armstrong
Mark Armstrong
Appeared in filmsFirst Man (2018)
Apollo 13 (1995)
Apollo 11 (2019)
Armstrong (2019)
Moonwalk One (1971)
and many more
Height1.8 m
Table last updatedJanuary 6, 2022