Born on August 5, 1930: Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon.
In 1966, Armstrong was part of the NASA Gemini 8 mission. Gemini 8 was his first spaceflight, followed in 1969 by the historical Apollo 11 moon landing mission, during which he and Buzz Aldrin explored the surface of the moon.
Armstrong's career didn't start out in space or even with sights set on the moon, but he was in the air as a naval aviator prior to becoming an astronaut in 1962. Students interested in space exploration—or fascinated by all things lunar—may enjoy these hands-on Science Buddies Project Ideas:
- Craters and Meteorites: This project allows students of all ages to explore the relationship between the size of a meteorite and the resulting crater. The difference in "crater" size when you drop a marble and an orange, for example, is pretty dramatic!
- HAMing It Up with the Astronauts*: Students with a passion for space, or those interested in amateur radio, may love the challenge of making radio contact with the International Space Station (ISS). For those looking skyward, making informal contact can be an adventure with its own version of a pirate's treasure map--finding the X that marks the spot for a chance communication is part of the fun!
- Lunar Crater Counting*: By analyzing historical photos and a lunar atlas, students can explore the topography of the moon from afar, learning more about the craters that dimple the surface of the moon and making hypotheses about the formation of those craters.
- Astronomer: Students can learn more about the astronomer career path, one way to focus on the skies and what is and might be out there!
For a sweet mental boost, a pack of freeze-dried space ice cream might be a justifiable mid-experiment snack! (Actually... students might find a project in that, too!)