5 Fascinating Facts About the First Man to Walk on the Moon

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5 Fascinating Facts About the First Man to Walk on the Moon
Image credit: NASA | Getty Images
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With nearly half a billion people watching from Earth on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind,” he famously said.

Armstrong passed away from heart complications on Aug. 25, 2012. Today, he would have turned 86. To celebrate his birthday, here are five facts you may not know about the famous astronaut:

Related: 50 Inspirational Quotes to Motivate You

1. He paid for his first flying lesson with money he made doing odd jobs.

When Armstrong was 10 years old, he made $1 mowing the local cemetery. He would then work at a drug store.

Through these odd jobs, Armstrong was able to pay for flight lessons, which at the time, costed about $9 an hour.

2. He could fly more than 200 types of aircraft.

Armstrong was the ultimate pilot. He flew more than 200 different types of aircraft during both his civilian and military life.

Not only did he fly the Apollo Lunar Module, but he has flown jets, rockets, helicopters and gliders.

3. He had a pilot’s license before a driver’s license.

While most teenagers are itching to be able to get behind the wheel of a car on their 16th birthdays, Armstrong set his sights higher -- literally.

On Aug. 5, 1946, Armstrong got his pilot’s licence and did his first solo flight later that month, all before he got his driver’s license.

Related: Buzz Aldrin Wants You to Know -- the Sky Is Not the Limit

4. He served in the Korean War.

Armstrong attended Purdue on a Navy scholarship and in 1949 was called on to serve in the Korean War.

He flew in almost 80 combat missions and received three medals for his service.

5. He was a proud Eagle Scout.

Armstrong was an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. He was so proud of his background in boy scouts that he carried his World Scout Badge when he went to the moon.

A high percentage of astronauts are involved in Boy Scouts, according to the Boy Scouts of America.

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