This weekend brought us some sad news, the news of the passing of Neil Armstrong at the age of 82. Armstrong’s passing is of particular interest to me because his feats in science and in space have influenced many of my current professional pursuits and interests. I remember when I was in middle school and an assignment was handed to my science class: What scientist would you be? My class mates all drew the typical stuff like people with flasks in lab coats. I, on the other hand, drew a picture similar to that of Neil Armstrong on the lunar surface. Unbeknownst to me, our assignments were submitted into the science program at the University of Alabama and my picture was nationally recognized.
Many specials have been made on how Star Trek changed the face of
science; however, I was always more interested in the real life trek
through the stars happening at NASA. This was no more epitomized then
through Neil Armstrong and his accomplishments of being an engineer, an
astronaut, and the first man to walk on the moon. He, truly, has become
the closest to being the real Captain Kirk than anyone because he truly
boldly went where no one had gone before.
Professionally, I would say that I probably would not be working in a
scientific field if it wasn’t for Armstrong’s feats. After reading some
of his memorials this weekend, one quote from Neil Armstrong really
caught my eye, “I
am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer,
born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in steam tables, in
love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace and propelled by
compressible flow.” It is amazing how somebody who has accomplished
so much could still be so humble. This is a quote that should be
featured on scientific motivational posters.
R.I.P. Neil Armstrong