Family members of Neil Armstrong and U.S. Navy sailors during the burial-at-sea service for the late astronaut aboard the USS Philippine Sea on September 14, 2012© AFP 2013/ NASA / Bill Ingalis
MOSCOW, September 15 (RIA Novosti)
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U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon, was laid to rest in the Atlantic on Friday in a burial-at-sea service aboard the USS Philippine Sea, NASA reported.
Armstrong, who died on August 25 at age 82, was honored with a bugler and a rifle salute. After that, his cremated remains were committed to the sea and an American flag was presented to his widow, Carol.
Armstrong’s family said in a statement that he died from complications from heart surgery he had on August 7 to relieve four blocked coronary arteries.
The astronaut described his setting foot on the Moon on July 20, 1969, as "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
Over 500 million people worldwide watched the touchdown of the Apollo 11 spacecraft on the moon on television. Armstrong was the spacecraft’s commander. It took Armstrong and his fellow astronaut Edwin Aldrin some three hours to walk on the lunar surface, collect samples, make experiments and take photographs.
Armstrong was born on August 5, 1930. He served in the U.S. Navy as a fighter pilot including flying combat missions in Korea, was a test pilot, an aerospace engineering professor and an astronaut.
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