Wednesday September 7, 2005
Armstrong recalls moon landing
KUALA LUMPUR: Man’s landing on the moon is no hoax, said Neil Armstrong, the first person there.
Denying such claims, he said that the world loved a conspiracy theory.
The moon mission was a very difficult, big and expensive project, said the commander of Apollo 11 who touched down on the moon on July 20, 1969.
Asked by Malaysian astronaut candidate Zaid Zahari, 32, which he considered to be his greatest achievement – landing on the moon or getting back to Earth safely – Armstrong said it was a “superior moment” when he set foot on the moon.
This was because he believed the Apollo 11 had only a 50% chance of a successful landing in its first attempt.
The final approach, he said, was a very difficult part of the flight and no computer software had demonstrated this flight before.
“When we touched down on the surface, recognising that that was the goal of one-third of a million people working for nearly a decade, and all that people sharing in the satisfaction of reaching that goal, was a superior moment.”
Armstrong said he was “elated, ecstatic and extremely surprised that we were successful.”
Armstrong, 75, also denied he had heard the Muslim call to prayer on the moon and had converted to Islam.
He said he believed that going to Mars was “technically do-able,” but it would take about another 20 years for it to happen.