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Pioneering astronaut Neil Armstrong dies at 82

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It's a story that we hoped we'd never have to report. Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on Earth's Moon, has died at the age of 82 after complications from heart surgery three weeks earlier. His greatest accomplishment very nearly speaks for itself -- along with help from fellow NASA astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, he changed the landscape of space exploration through a set of footprints. It's still important to stress his accomplishments both before and after the historic Apollo 11 flight, though. He was instrumental to the Gemini and X-series test programs in the years before Apollo, and followed his moonshot with roles in teaching aerospace engineering as well as investigating the Apollo 13 and Space Shuttle Challenger incidents. What more can we say? Although he only spent a very small portion of his life beyond Earth's atmosphere, he's still widely considered the greatest space hero in the US, if not the world, and inspired a whole generation of astronauts. We'll miss him.

[Image credit: NASA Apollo Archive]

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