Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong: The First Man to Walk on the Moon…

Neil Armstrong was born in a town called Wapakoneta, Ohio. He was an Eagle Scout, and he was interested in flying. Very interested. He was so interested, in fact, that he got his student pilot’s license before he got his driver’s license.

After college, Armstrong flew planes for the Navy (that’s right, the Navy has planes, too…lots of them), and then he became a test pilot. (Test pilots, by the way, try out new airplanes to see how the planes perform.) In 1962, Armstrong applied to become an American astronaut, and he was accepted. He flew in space several times before his biggest mission of all: Apollo 11.

In 1969, Armstrong and two other astronauts blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Their space ship took them to an orbit around the moon. Then, Armstrong and his co-pilot, Buzz Aldren, climbed into a smaller landing craft called the Eagle. Armstrong took the controls and guided the Eagle safely to the moon’s surface.

Neil Armstrong was the first man out of the cabin, and when he stepped foot on the moon, he said, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” And he was right!

Bright Ideas

Astronaut Quotes

“I guess we all like to be recognized, not for one piece of fireworks, but for the sum total of our daily work.”
Neil Armstrong

“Even in elementary school, I was interested in space.”
Sally Ride

“The happiest people are the ones who make the most of their God-given talents.”
John Glenn

“I still say, ‘shoot for the moon; you might get there.”
Buzz Aldrin (He did get there)

“I touch the future, I teach.”
Christa McAuliffe

Nifty Fifty

About Ohio

It’s a Fact: Neil Armstrong was from Ohio. Many other famous people were from Ohio, too, including 8 presidents!

It’s a Fact: So many presidents were born and raised in Ohio that the state is nicknamed “The Mother of Presidents.”

It’s a Fact: The capital of Ohio is Columbus The largest cities in Ohio are Cincinnati and Cleveland.

It’s a Fact: The abbreviation for Ohio is OH.

It’s a Fact: Dayton, Ohio is considered the birthplace of air travel because the Wright Brothers invented the first working airplane in their bicycle shop, which was located on the west side of town.

More Fun Facts

Fun Fact: On average, the Moon is about 239,000 miles from Earth.

Fun Fact: The oceans’ tides are mostly caused by the Moon, although the Sun also has some effect on the tides.

Fun Fact: The Moon orbits around the Earth every 27.3 days.

Fun Fact: The tallest mountain on the moon is named Mons Huygens. It’s about half as tall as Mt. Everest, which is the tallest mountain on Earth.

Fun Fact: The same side of the Moon is always facing Earth, so there’s almost half of the Moon that we can never see (unless we take a space ship to the far side of the Moon!).

Fun Fact: Because the Moon is much smaller than the earth, gravity is less there. So, if you weighed 100 pounds on Earth, you’d only weigh 17 pounds on the Moon. Think how high you could jump!

Questions and Answers
Just for fun,
see if you can answer these questions.
Was Neil Armstrong a test pilot, or an astronaut, or both?
He was both. First, he was a test pilot; then, he was an astronaut.
Did Neil Armstrong go to the Moon alone, or did other astronauts go with him?
Two other astronauts went with him. They were Buzz Aldren and Michael Collins.
What's the capital of Ohio? Is it Dayton, Cleveland, or Columbus?
If you were standing on the Moon, would you weigh more or less than you weigh on Earth.
You’d weigh less because gravity is less on the Moon. If you weighed 100 pounds on Earth, you’d only weigh 17 pounds on the Moon.
Write Your Own Story

If you have time, you can write a story of your own.

To help you get started, you can use one of these story ideas.

Story Idea #1: You can write a story about some of the things you learned about Neil Armstrong.


Story Idea #2: Imagine what it would be like to take a rocket ride from Earth to the Moon. What would it be like to go there? And, what would it be like to come back home?

To help you write a great essay, we have some helpful hints and timely tips.

Today's Ryder Riddle
Here's a riddle for you.
Why did Micky Mouse go into outer space?
To find Pluto.
The Mystery Ryders

For fun-to-read books about a girl detective who homeschools on a train... check out The Mystery Ryders, a series from the creators of the Homeschool Express.

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