First moonwalker Neil Armstrong undergoes heart bypass surgery

Posted Aug 9, 2012 by Anne Sewell
Neil Armstrong, who turned 82 on Sunday, has undergone heart surgery to relieve four blocked coronary arteries. He is doing great, according to his wife.
Neil Armstrong  Astronaut and first man on the moon.
Neil Armstrong, Astronaut and first man on the moon.
Armstrong lives in the Cincinnati area and has just celebrated his 82nd birthday. He visited the hospital on Monday for a stress test, and then had to go back on Tuesday, when surgeons bypassed the four blockages in his coronary arteries.
Another moonwalker, Gene Cernan told NBC News that according to his wife, Armstrong's spirits are high, and doctors do not expect any problems with his recovery.
A statement from NASA administrator, Charles Bolden, read, "NASA wishes Neil Armstrong the very best for a quick recovery from surgery."
"Neil's pioneering spirit will surely serve him well in this challenging time and the entire NASA family is holding the Armstrong family in our thoughts and prayers. I know countless well-wishers around the world join us in sending get-well wishes to this true American hero."
Armstrong and Apollo 11 lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin landed their Eagle module on the moon's Sea of Tranquility on July 20, 1969, while crew mate Michael Collins orbited above in their command module Columbia.
Armstrong's famous words, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind," will never be forgotten.
Aldrin, also 82, wrote in a Twitter post, "Just heard about Neil & heart surgery today. Sending my best wishes for a speedy recovery. We agreed to make it the 50th Apollo Anniv. in 2019."
While Armstrong has largely kept out of the spotlight since his famous moonwalk, he did testify in front of Congress in September 2011 on NASA's future, together with Cernan. In November, along with three other astronauts, Armstrong received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest U.S. civilian award.