Today (Aug. 5), marks what would have been Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong's (opens in new tab)89th birthday.
Armstrong made history when, on July 20, 1969, he pushed human spaceflight forward and took humanity's first steps on the moon. Armstrong has remained a pinnacle of achievement for astronauts and continues to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds around the world.
While Armstrong is most famous for his role as commander of Apollo 11, he was also an accomplished test pilot and previously flew on NASA's Gemini 8 (opens in new tab) mission. To commemorate Armstrong's birthday, NASA tweeted (opens in new tab) a heartfelt commemoration to the fallen astronaut, stating: "Neil Armstrong is remembered for many feats, including breaking records in aviation and spaceflight. On his birthday, we remember the man who inspired millions when he walked on the surface of the moon."
Fifty years ago, after returning from the moon, Armstrong celebrated his 39th birthday in quarantine at NASA (opens in new tab). The astronauts spent three weeks in quarantine after returning from the moon in case they brought back any "moon bugs." According to NASA, at this unusual quarantine birthday celebration, Armstrong blew out 39 candles on a "standard two-layer, plain vanilla" cake.
The happiest of birthdays to Neil, even in quarantine. #Apollo50 pic.twitter.com/ND6bX7KiiLAugust 5, 2019
The NASA History Office tweeted out a short video (opens in new tab) of Armstrong blowing out the candles and included a warm birthday message: "We hope all of Neil Armstrong's wishes came true during his #birthday celebration in quarantine, 50 years ago today. Today, we #Remember him on what would be his 89th birthday."
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