- guardian.co.uk, Sunday 26 August 2012 14.23 EDT
But these endeavours do not even come close to matching the excitement of Armstrong's success: no doubt in part because of the human element.
Nasa administrator Charles Bolden seemed to hint at that in his statement of tribute. "As we enter this next era of space exploration, we do so standing on the shoulders of Neil Armstrong," he said.
Armstrong is believed to have shared the sense of scepticism and dismay at Nasa's diminished ambitions. Eric Berger, who runs the SciGuy science blog, revealed that earlier this month he had been forwarded an email that Armstrong and other space exploration veterans had been circulating. It expressed frustration at the current travails of Nasa and quoted Yogi Berra, an American baseball legend. According to Berger the quote read: "If you don't know where you are going, you might not get there."
It is unclear when and where Armstrong's funeral and burial will be held.