U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon, has died at age 82, media outlets reported.
The BBC reported citing a statement from Armstrong’s family that he died from complications from heart surgery, which he had had on August 7 to relieve four blocked coronary arteries.
According to the BBC, 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.
The CNN quoted Armstrong’s family as saying: “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.”
U.S. space agency NASA said: "As long as there are history books, Neil Armstrong will be included in them, remembered for taking humankind's first small step on a world beyond our own. Besides being one of America's greatest explorers, Neil carried himself with a grace and humility that was an example to us all. When President Kennedy challenged the nation to send a human to the moon, Neil Armstrong accepted without reservation. As we enter this next era of space exploration, we do so standing on the shoulders of Neil Armstrong. We mourn the passing of a friend, fellow astronaut and true American hero."