tv CNN Newsroom CNN August 25, 2012 4:00pm-4:30pm EDT
welcome back to the cnn newsroom. i'm fredericka whitfield. sad news to pass on to you, the passing of a legend. 82-year-old neil armstrong has died. his family members say he died from complications due from cardiovascular procedures. the family releasing a statement saying they are heartbroken. this is the man that you all know as the first man who walked on the moon back in 1969. and the first to utter the words, "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." here now is john zarella. >> reporter: neil armstrong was born at his grandparents' farm in ohio in 1930 when air travel was still in its infancy and space travel was the stuff of science fiction. but armstrong says he had the same dream over and over again. he was hovering above the ground and holding his breath. armstrong took his first airplane ride when a ford
tri-motor, a plane called the twin goose, came to a local airfield. as a teenager he began taking flying lessons, even before getting his driver's license. armstrong earned a degree in aeronautical engineering. he flew several missions in panther jets. later he became a test pilot for the x-15, the rocket plane to lay the ground for space travel. it was soaring an amazing 40 miles above the earth at 4,000 miles an hour. and then, in 1961 during the height of the cold war in the midst of the space race with the soviet union, president john kennedy made a dramatic challenge. >> i believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal before this decade is out of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. >> reporter: the next year
armstrong joined the enormous undertaking and became an astronaut. four years later he made his first journey into space as commander of the 28 mission which nearly ended in disaster. armstrong kept his cool and brought the spacecraft home safely after a thruster rocket malfunction. the next trip to space was on july 16, 1969. he and astronauts buzz aldrin and michael collins blasted off in apollo 11. on a journey of nearly 250,000 miles, a journey into history, it took them four days to reach their destination. the world watched and waited as the lunar module eagle separated from the command module and began its decent. then came the words from armstrong. >> the eagle has landed. >> reporter: about 6 1/2 hours later at 10:56 p.m. eastern time on july 20th, 1969, neil
armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon. >> that's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. >> reporter: he was followed by aldrin. armstrong was on the surface for two hours, 32 minutes. aldrin, just 15 minutes left. the two astronauts staked an american flag, scooped up moon rocks and set up scientific experiments before returning to the main spacecraft. the three crew mates returned home to a crew's welcome, though none ever returned to space. armstrong was 38 when he made his historic landing. the first man on the moon left the astronaut corps for the next year and taught at the university of cincinnati. he once joked, i am and will forever will be a white sox
nerdy engineer. he was, of course, much, much more than that. he was also a husband and father of two. and a man who left his footprint forever on the u.s. space program. john zarella, cnn reporting. all right. who didn't remember neil armstrong as their hero? someone who inspired so much about space and american history. surprisingly, neil armstrong himself didn't necessarily embrace that title. he said he was just doing his job and doing what he loved. and that accomplishment of walking on the moon was not an accomplishment that was his but one of many. leroy chow is a shuttle astronaut with nasa joining us from houston. for a very long time mr. chow very much admired neil armstrong. that was one of his heroes. he had the opportunity later on to meet neil armstrong and, of course, also had a great opportunity to be on the international space station between october 2004 and april
2005. leroy chow with us now, mr. chow, give us an idea, what are your thoughts about neil armstrong. clearly, he was your idle, someone who inspired you before you became an astronaut yourself. >> well, that's right. i remember very clearly being an 8-year-old kid and watching the tv and listening to the transmissions coming back from the moon as the lunar module of apollo 11 approached is surface and then touched down on the moon. and i remember even as a kid thinking, wow, the world just changed and then hours later watching nooem armstrong and buzz aldrin take the very step of humans on another planetary body. that flipped the switch in my head so that's what i want to do, i want to be an astronaut. the hear of his passing today was very saddening. certainly for the entire nation and even the world. i think the apollo 11 landing on the moon was particularly important for americans but it was important for all humankind. >> was it clear to you by the
time you finally met him that he reluctantly embraced this role, you know, this place in history, that he really didn't want to enjoy it alone. he wanted to enjoy it as a collective effort. >> oh, very much so. neil, i only got to meet him once, and that was in the halls of the astronaut office where he almost never came back to nasa, except for the annual physical, i think. and one time he did come up to the astronaut office to make a short presentation to the new astronauts. and i got to meet him very briefly in the hall, but it was wonderful to meet the person who inspired me to want to go do what he was doing. but very modest man, like you say. he shunned the limelight, very rarely gave interrue views and was surprised that later on in his life started talking more about his experience. i was glad he did that because i would hate for all the history
and his perspective be lost forever, but yeah, he didn't crave the limelight and he was kind of considering it as something that we all accomplish. all the people working with the program, every american in support of the program. >> mr. chiao, would you mind if i read a portion of the family's at the same time released to us for your ears and for the pleasure of everyone listening. the family saying, quote, as much as neil cherished his privacy, he always appreciated the expressions of good will from people around the world and from all walks of life. while we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves. and then in italics they say, for those who may ask what they can do to honor neil, we have a simple request.
honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty. and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down on you, think of neil armstrong and give him a wink. what are your thoughts on that last request? is that something you think you'll do? >> wow, that was really a powerful statement, especially in the smplicity and that kind of sums up just what we were talking about. my perception of neil's personality, that's what he would have wanted. that's exactly what i'm going to do tonight. i'm going out to wink at the moon and think of neil and those that came after him that inspired me to follow in their footsteps personally. i have young children, i'm going to explain to them what this means and explain how important it is. >> leroy chiao, thank you for remembering this incredible icon. neil armstrong dead at the age of 82. we'll be right back.
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back now to our coverage of tropical storm isaac. it is barreling closer to florida now but it is expected to be a hurricane at some point. take a look at some new pictures in just from haiti. isaac hit there earlier as a tropical storm today. flooding is a big worry now that winds have died down. we'll have more on haiti in a moment and how people are coping. as you can see right there, not so well but first we'll bring in cnn's jim spellman in key west, florida, where this storm is likely to brush by next. jim, give me an idea, it looks
like it is wet and you've gotten rain there. what else has happened? >> reporter: yeah, we have seen a few bands of wind and rain, but there are still people out here. we are right on the main drag in key west, but only about 20% occupancy here in the hotels at this point we hear from the mayor. they have been encouraging visitors to get out, but they are not calling an evacuation at this point. they have added some flights and the last one will take off at 7:00 p.m. tonight. anybody leaving, they wanted to get out of here as quickly as they can, but people come here to party. those people undeterred at this point. i caught up with one man here visiting from chicago. listen. are you going to evacuate, paul? >> no. >> reporter: how come? >> we came down here to have a good time. i'm not going to let a little hurricane get in the way. so just, one of the lifetime experiences. i hear about hurricane parties
and we are going to have fun with it. >> reporter: so the die-hards are going to stay and party their way through isaac. they do expect this to be a minimal cat 1 hurricane when it comes to the keys sometime tomorrow. >> my goodness, well, even cat 1 can be pretty serious. jim spellman, appreciate that. some of the offshoots of isaac are still drenching haiti in the form of lots of rain. flooding is a big concern right now. just take a look at these images. incredible. officials confirming at least two people have died, but they are concerned the death toll will rise even further as authorities search tent cities in port-au-prince adding to the problems of trees down, power lines are down in some of the hardest-hit areas. isaac very much brushed past cuba. not too long ago, but it did make landfall in the southern tip of the island nation. some trees are down. power lines are down as well in some parts and flooding may pose
a problem in some areas, but, for the most part, isaac hugged cuba's coastline missing most of the island. we're continuing to track the storm to see where it may be heading next, what it is capable of doing. we'll check in with jennifer dell gato in a moment, but first now we want to tell you a little bit about our programming tomorrow. on the next list, a man who believes there is no such thing as disabilities, only bad technology. >> i am just in love with, enamered with the design of the human body. its elegance. nature has often these very powerful principles that if captured in a technologist, in a device, can be very, very extraordinary in their capacity to help people move again. so it's -- that's the basic
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tropical storm isaac is hugging the coastline of cuba. this is a very disorganized system, but i want to point out to you very large. this is the center of circulation really hugging the coastline of cuba. rain still coming down, it's been letting up a little bit for port awe prince and the dominican republic, but winds right now 60 miles per hour. we are expecting it to strengthen. that's why we have a hurricane warning in place anywhere you're seeing in pink. and then a hurricane watch including miami, but as we open this up for you, whether conditions are going to the deteriorating, especially starting tomorrow morning. we expect tropical storm conditions for parts of south florida as well as into key west. that's why we do have tropical storm watches in place as well as some warnings anywhere you're seeing in yellow and blue. so as i said to you, conditions getting worse. sunday morning we'll start with the tropical storm conditions and then hurricane conditions arrive sunday afternoon. and then notice as it moves through the florida strait, it's really going to be strengthening. by sunday, 8:00, 75.
yes, a weak category 1, but the problem is we're going to be dealing with a lot of warm water. and we are dealing with areas with the sea surface temperatures are close to 90 degrees. so we'll see strengthening and now they are forecasting potentially for this to become a category 2. this is tuesday, 8:00 a.m. here's tampa. of course, we look at the florida panhandle, and this potentially takes the system up to the north. i want to point out to you, this is the cone of air. anywhere from new orleans all the way over to that western coastline of florida needs to be prepared for the possibility of that storm to possibly deviate from the track. it is not an exact science, but i want to help you a little bit more kind of visualize when you see the stronger winds. we start the clock sunday at 7:00 p.m. notice for key west, in the late day, we'll start to see some of the hurricane winds being felt across the region. then as we go much furtherer into the day, monday, 8:00 a.m.,
here's tampa. notice on monday right at the start of the republican convention, we certainly could see tropical storm conditions across the region. fredericka, we'll be following this with an update coming up at 5:00 from the national hurricane center. >> we look forward that. thank you, jennifer. much more on the life and legacy of neil armstrong dead at the age of 82. his colleague astronaut john glenn joins us. [ male announcer ] now you can swipe... scroll... tap... pinch... and zoom... in your car. introducing the all-new cadillac xts with cue. ♪ don't worry. we haven't forgotten, you still like things to push.
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complications from cardiovascular procedures helping to underscore the memory of neil armstrong. he is an icon in his own right. john glenn, the first american to orbit the earth and the third american in space, senator glenn, your thoughts on the passing of neil armstrong. >> well, when i think of neil, he was a good friend, of course. but when i think of neil, i think for our nation, he truly was a person who dared greatly. he got the aviation bug as a kid and had his pilot's license before he had his automobile license. he went on flying and was in the navy and in korea. he was an outstanding combat pilot. i think he had 78 missions. he went on to experimental aircraft, the best in the world. he was a very skilled person. he was dedicated and he was a good friend and he'll be missed. >> we talked to a number of people inspired by him who had,
i think, a moment or two with him, but no one has known him as closely as you. what about his reluctance to take on the role of being such an inspiration, such an icon, that he would try to remind people that that accomplishment was not mine, it was an accomplishment that represents so many. >> well, i think he felt that and believed that. and i think it was true. there were so many people involved in the huge projects that he was involved with, that we were involved with, and you do have that feeling. and neiled a that. and he didn't feel that he should be out by himself or anything like that. he just remained true to the principles he grew up with and husband a humble person. that's the way he remain ed as before the flight. >> many are asking what to do to honor neil. the family said, honor his
example of service, accomplishment and modesty and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of neil armstrong and give him a wink. that statement coming from the family. so poignant and beautiful. how will you remember him? >> i think it is a very good statement. >> yeah, it really is beautiful. how will you try to remember neil armstrong? will you be giving that moon a wink? >> oh, yes. i think about it every time that we had people up there and neil was the first one up there, of course. neil was dedicated to flying and so on. he had to bail out once in korea after his plane was hit and was damaged. he had to bail out of a trainer at houston, it was a training for the lunar landing and then the actual landing on the moon. they were down to the, he was down to the last, i think they estimated between 15 and 35 seconds of fuel when they actually set down on the moon. so that was a verycl