An Audience with Neil Armstrong 2011 interview

I thought there was an element of risk in pinning my hopes that would get Neil Armstrong to do this so when we eventually caught up it really was amazing I knew something a lot of people didn't know about Neil Armstrong and that was his dad was an auditor oh I think for people who are leaders and for people who aspire to be leaders listening to Neil Armstrong is far better than doing any educational MBA program that exists in the world today [Music] Oh Neil Armstrong a very warm welcome to Australia thank you so much the words determination and destiny keep coming to me and and the way in which your life's unfolded I'm not quite sure of the order of those at times but certainly your first Air Show at two years old your dad took you to you your first aeroplane flight with your dad at seven and you'll pilot's license at 15 tells me a lot about determination yeah I had become fascinated with the world of flight as a as an elementary school student and determined that somehow I wanted to be involved in that and and as I learned more about aviation I thought designed that that would be the epitome of an aeronautical career to be a designer and so that's what I that's what I strove for and in terms of my mom and dad Steven and viola your dad was a public servant in Ohio and traveled a lot in his role what what what did your parents collectively teach you and give you as a foundation well they my father was an auditor and he audited the books of county governments or across the state where we lived in the state of Ohio and so we we were a transient group my father moved the family along with him as he moved around the state while we were young and and I think they they were very accommodating and they allowed me to do pursue my own interests and and I'm forever grateful that they gave me that freedom they didn't try to dictate to me what what I should do or where I should go and your childhood but but fascinates me about it is and we've had these conversations before about your rather heightened fear of death as a child and and concern that if a pet died you didn't really want to confront it he's not necessarily what would appear to be the man who would take all the risks he took it out of life I mean that was it that's quite a fascinating well I I think many younger people are uncomfortable with thought of whether it being themselves their relatives or their pets and and I've shared that that uneasiness about facing the reality of death and it took me some years to to sort of circumvent that that concern so then of course now you you went you flew 70 admissions in the Korean War and again took some chances what are your reflections on the risks you had to bear you and your colleagues the risks in combat are substantial and I think in general they are higher risks than I faced in my test pilot work or in my astronaut work and the consequences are severe and there's a good side and a bad side the bad side is that you lose colleagues and that's painful good side is you have you create very strong bonds with the with your colleagues that that survive and those those bonds exist throughout your lifetime and and I value those experiences very highly because they they build a lot of character they build a lot of backbone and you are a better person for having having learned to endure those that that environment that situation and those risks so Neil your test pilot career was you know as everything else in your career a distinguished one but tell me what a test pilot feels and what it does feel like to get in those jets as you did so often the exhilaration the moment the responsibility the the test pilot is solving problems he's looking for inadequacies or shortcomings or barriers to substantial safety and increasing performance in flight and his job is to identify those problems and assist in finding a solution so it's a problem-solving job and you're always working with the unknowns and I found that a fascinating part part of my career path I really enjoyed the opportunity to contribute in some way to war the solution of problems a history of humanity has been you know slowly increasing the the boundaries of knowledge and knowing more and more and more and feel comfortable inside there but at the edges it's always going to be a challenge absolutely and to those edges you're your first flight one of your first flights in your b-29 now being an accountant I can do the numbers and if one engine out of four is working I'd be worried and that's without any pilot experience what happened that day and had it had through the problems I was a pilot of one of the two pilots at the b-29 carrying Arak Adel aircraft to altitude where we released the airplane and it would go doing the testing and we were just providing the service get get the rocket airplane up to a starting point and we were somewhere up above 30,000 feet when the governor on one of the propellers failed and the propeller started running away that is going faster and faster and faster and of course at some point in time it's going to explode and so we had the choice of either slowing down to try to slow down the propeller or speeding up so that we could drop the rocket we chose the latter drop the rocket and almost instantly instantaneously thereafter the propeller exploded and blades cut through the it was the right far right engine cut through the number three engine cut through the fuselage and the number two engine and left only the number one engine running that's an uncomfortable position one out of four but fortunately we had a lot of altitude and we had a big dry lakebed not too far away where we where we could land so we could make a very gentle very they've very gentle turns and keep the power back and sort of make a gliding approach into the landing area and I'll the second pilot his control cables had been cut by the propeller so he his controls were of no use whatever I still had control so I was flying the airplane and he was doing the thinking and when we got to the ground and looked at the airplane afterwards we found that my cables had been cut to but there were still a few strands of the cable left so we were very fortunate to to have survived that situation extraordinary and look another example I guess was in the the lunar training when you had to eject from the rocket within seconds of your life as I understand it take us through that ah well we we needed something to simulate landing on the moon the moon has no atmosphere so you're flying in a vacuum and the gravity is much lower so the characteristics of a flying machine in that environment are very different than they are here on earth and we felt we had to understand those variations and be able to feel comfortable in flying the lunar module to it to the surface of the Moon in the actual conditions so this device did did provide very good training and and experience in that mode unfortunately was a complicated machine with a lot of different rockets and wires and claptrap of oldest and it consequently was subject to malfunction and one of those malfunction snapped on me one day and I've lost my control system and you know pretty quickly that it's it's time to go and part company with your friend and I did that and if the ejection seat worked very well fortunately and and I bit my tongue but that was the only real damage and and as I understand it as the legend goes and you know that's a term I like using when I speak with you you you basically just went back to work well yeah there was work to be done it back at the office and so I thought I'd better go get get get on with it I'm trying to line that up with the modern era of occupational health and safety and it's just not working for me at the moment now that's that's extraordinary we've got some footage that we all want to play to you that John F Kennedy was speaking about the mission and about the vision this was early in the 60s but why some say the moon why choose this as our goal and they may well ask why climb the highest mountain five 35 years ago fly the Atlantic why does Rice play Texas we choose to go to the moon we choose to go to the moon we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things not because they are easy but because they are hard because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills because that challenge is one that we're willing to accept one we are unwilling to postpone and one we intend to win the extraordinary time in the US at that time you had the president of that ilk you had politics the administration's science the community all on song for this vision all on song for that plan but what was that like well you have to appreciate the context the Soviet Union had successfully put first a artificial satellite into space and secondly put a man into orbit around the Earth we were trailing we had put only one flight Alan Shepard on a short 20 minute suborbital flight up to about a hundred miles of altitude and back down into the ocean never had a person in orbit and now the president was challenging us to go to the moon the gap between 20 minutes but 20 minute up-and-down flight and going to the moon was something that was almost beyond belief technically but NASA was a new organization only about four years old at that point had done a lot of thinking about this and they identified the lunar landing as perhaps the only way we could catch up with the Soviet Union and as the president said we were gonna we were going to get in this game he was saying this is this is a new ocean around this is the new ocean and we must sail upon it and we must be a leader on it and that caught people's imagination because at that time we had the ideological competition between Eastern and West concerns about the future of of all humanity on earth so it was a very big thing not just technically it was sociologically a very big thing and the challenge was enormous so to be able to get that the agreement of the not only the government but the will of the people to go along with that idea was quite striking I'd my my crude summaries but someone's sketching out all the Apollo missions in advance saying well if we're going to get there it's going to take this many many missions and you knew you were involved in the missions you didn't know fundamentally at that point who was going to ever be the person to walk on the moon if ever and how fluid was that was that plan it was it was very very fluid first the first Apollo spacecraft was on a pre-flight test with the crew in the in the module atop the rocket on the pad at Kennedy Space Center but then it was Cape Canaveral the cockpit was pressurized to Act one atmosphere with pure oxygen remover and a spark ignited some of the flammable material in the cockpit the the hatch was an inward opening hatch that the crew was unable to quickly open and the crew was was killed in the fire it was a tragedy and was gonna take us a long time to recover from that we clearly had an unsafe spacecraft we had to redesign it and rebuild it and it was a two-year delay now there were only four years left to the end of the decade at that point so is this tecnique we're losing half of the time in the race race to the moon but there was a there was a benefit every advantage is accompanied by a disadvantage and every disadvantage so every cloud has a silver lining so we were looking for the silver the silver mining we got was that we were two years to improve the spacecraft not just the fire resistance but a lot of other things in the system that really needed improving so we could attack those and make a gigantic improvement in the quality of the spacecraft design and its construction all the flights changed somewhat during the evolution of those life here the the second flight after the after the first flight to was a leavened a flight to make sure that the command modular had systems that would run for the length of a lunar mission so in fluid eight and that worked twelves and the next flight was going to have a a command module and also a lunar landing module on it but the lunar landing module was behind schedule and it wasn't ready for a flight in 1968 so a very bold decision they decided they would take the next flight on a third flight of the big Saturn rocket the first two had been unmanned and not not perfect but but a few problems that they worked out not only take the third one and fly it with humans on it but take it around the moon an enormously bold decision but that moved our program along a lot further because now we knew we could navigate to the prove that we could navigate to the moon that we could communicate at lunar distance and that when they they could they that crew could take pictures of the potential landing sites and see what what might be a good plan for future flights it's extraordinary hero listen to know how short a period of time this knowledge growth was taking place oh it was multiplying like mushrooms yeah I'm surprised you ever got to sleep I said so what what what yeah what happened in I mean so how long before you knew that the likelihood or the team you'd the likelihood that 11 was going to do was going to be the the land and well I was I was the alternate or backup commander for the flight around the moon Apollo eight and as soon as they took off I was on a job of course and the boss called me in a few days later and said would you take the third flight down there down the road 11 no 8 was in the air 9 was in the hangar yet it hasn't that had started to fly and 10 was lunar module had not flown there was no way we could predict what each of those flights would do it was going to depend on the success and the accomplishments of each flight along the build-up period but Apollo 8 worked well nine work well 10 did far better than expected took a lunar module actually around the moon and and tried out its propulsion systems and its navigation systems and communicating with two spacecraft simultaneously all these things were accomplished in just those four flights and so a month before the the launch of Apollo 11 my my my cruise flight we decided we were gonna we we were confident enough that we could try an attempt on a nice descent to the surface and I should say that I thought we had a 90% chance of getting back safely to earth on that flight but only a 50/50 chance of making a successful landing on the first first attempt there's so many unknowns in that descending from lunar orbit down to the surface that had not been demonstrated yet by testing and there was a big chance that some we didn't understand something in there properly and we had to abort and come back to earth without landing it's a risk/reward equation and you're able to accept a level of risk so long as this commensurate with the Rohrer reward that you will get by achieving the goal which you're after and that's kind of the that's kind of the balance you always make did you ever allow yourself the luxury and and for the time I've known you I suspect you're going to say no but did you ever allow yourself the luxury somewhere between 8 and 11 of dreaming of the fact that you guys may be the team that actually does the deed no I can't say that I did we were we were we were focused on on progress and making making those incremental steps and thousands of little incremental steps that got you closer and we're looking for success in those steps and not focusing on that end goal too much so there's the phone call Neal it's 11 you're the commander your reaction at that point well you know I was I was asked by the bosses or do you think you and your guys already is there anything that you're really concerned about that you you don't think we understand well enough that you we can't go on and so I was involved in those discussions and and and I have to say well you know it'd be nice to have another month but we were in a race here and there was some evidence that things were going on among our competitors and we we had to take the opportunity and we had it and I had to say no we're ready we are ready to go let's go to some footage because this this of course is the launch where all of this emotional journey you took the world on breakfast medical examination suiting up Neil Armstrong commander Apollo 11 Edwin Buzz Aldrin lunar module pilot Michael Collins command module pilot the vehicle starting to pressurize as far as the propellant tanks are concerned and an automatic sequences the master computer supervises and the third stage completely pressurized Neil Armstrong we put it back when he received the good wishes thank you very much we know it will be a good fight a from the Apollo 11 liftoff all the second-stage tanks now pressurized [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] neela what I saw in that footage was three and perhaps I'm getting to an age where everyone looks young too but I saw the three young boys really had done so much work and who were taping up and getting ready for the adventure of their in the world's life can you can you recall any of your thoughts at that time as you're preparing was it was it all about the preparation did the emotions are saying it's a it's a time of meditation and a time when you're when you're focused what you're really good trying to do but at the same time there's a certain amount of relaxed atmosphere and the reason is these Rockets usually don't go off on so you so you so you're thinking well we'll get down to two minutes and then they'll call a hold and then they'll cancel the flight we'll go another day so don't get too excited here about this so there was sort of a built-in look this is we're doing our best it's likely not to happen so we'll look the part and see what happens and you're always surprised when when it actually lights you there you go tell me in relation to the noise of all that's going on particularly from from ground to the next to the next hit what sort of noise are we talking about oh that the noise at at liftoff from from the pad is extremely loud and you get not only the noise of the engine but the reflected noise that's coming up off the ground and so consequently for until you fly out of that reflection after about 30 seconds you it's really difficult to hear anything even with our special helmets and earphones and so on but after you get out of the roof out of the reflected sound it gets pretty reasonable a very shaky ride and in that particular rocket the Saturn 5 Senator John 5 was a three three thousand ton machine and it's that's with an energy enough to more than that to lift you off the pad it's it's an environment that's that's interesting a very shaky ride in the early part of the launch through the first stage this the second and third stages are just as smooth as the first stage is shaky in terms of Liman mates Neil Armstrong which is this moment for me what happens on it give me give me an idea of what happens on sleep ends is there such a thing sleeping sleeping yes we had a question in our own mind we have this complicated spacecraft to operate are we gonna have somebody awake all the time to run all the switches what we would like to have done is sleep simultaneously and just put the craft on autopilot and that would be most efficient we thought and we the problem is that if if we all want to sleep and then this spacecraft drifted off attitude somehow and lost antenna walked with earth they wouldn't be able to communicate to us that we had a problem if anyone came up so we said how can you solve that problem we talked about the concept with the CIM with the computer guys and the simulator guys and they thought maybe we could spin stabilize the craft like a rifle bullet and it would stay one path and we'd have the antenna pointed right back down toward Earth and the question was well would it last us eight hours while we were sleeping could could it be done they duplicated in the in this in the simulator and determined that in fact you could spin-stabilized it for eight hours and you wouldn't have to spin it very fast very very slowly would be enough to keep it of an attitude and we could keep contact for emergency contract with with earth and it worked so that's what we did we slept simultaneously and then we could operate full efficiency over two-thirds of the day and in terms of the the camaraderie that you build on a mission like that not just that you're on a mission to the moon but the nature of it you're all still alive and well and that's fantastic there must be something about lunar travel it's good for longevity I'm thinking well I hope that's true we were a congenial bunch but really focused on the job you we really could not afford the luxury of diverting our attention away from our primary responsibilities because problems usually occur when you least expect them and you can't get complacent you have to keep paying attention and we were very determined to keep paying attention yeah so Neil it's it's coming time to land and as that process begins you've got a computer malfunction telling you there's something wrong what what's the process you've followed at that point yes the lunar descent from lunar orbit down to the surfaces is a very complex part of the overall flight with a lot of things happening simultaneously and and not a lot of time to consider abnormalities when they arise in the middle of the the descent we our computer did complain at us that was it was having a problem but it didn't admit responsibility so as a modern computer I have to admit I I didn't understand the nature of this particular alarm we had a lot the computer had a lot of kind of complaints but I didn't know them all this one this one was unusual and we asked Mission Control on earth to help us solve the problem and they didn't take very long to say you're cleared to continue that it was a it was an overload problem in the computer but the central part of the computer that was doing our calculations of our position and our navigation was working properly and that was good news so we continued on to the toward the landing site but then the computer showed us where it intended to land and it it was a very bad location on the side of a large crater about I suppose one hundred and hundred hundred fifty meters in diameter and with very steep slopes covered with very large boulders not a good place to land at all so I I took over manually and flew it like a helicopter out to the west direction we got into a smoother area what not so many rocks found a found a level area and was able to get it down there safely before we ran out of fuel yeah within what twenty seconds so like 20 seconds of fuel left it's almost like you were planning to do it prepare a movie here because everything was just on the edge of everything so the the crafts landed is there a moment where the three of you at least momentarily acknowledged that moment is is that indeed we took a it was a handshake you really went attended congratulations we made it this far yeah but there was a lot of work to do at that point and we couldn't look you know it's peelings and including getting home exactly well at the moment we didn't we concerned that because the lunar surface is so warm it's over it's it's over the boiling point of water and substantially and so heat the heat of the surface could affect fluids in the in the systems of the lunar module adversely we had to be very cognizant of potential thermal problems that might be in existence and if it was going to get worse we were going to have to take off immediately and get out of there but that worked out pretty well there were these concerns but they seem to be working out satisfactorily so we agree that we could stay up still on the surface a bit longer but we were gonna keep keep an eye on it for the first several hours and you'll woods people have professed as to why those words and whatever else so were you as you were coming closer into land were they coming to mind oh no I didn't think about that until after landing they had no confidence in our ability to get down down safely yeah so it wasn't I didn't bother thinking about about that until after landing and and of course they're the first state wouldn't we made was the eagle has landed until anybody's hair the eagle has landed and that that was that that was the signature line for achieving the presidential goal that we had working been working for a decade on him and then in our view that was that was a very important statement getting down that was less important in our in our view but it was significant enough he actually touched her booth into the into the sand and recognized that it's it's okay days to stand there so you you you now then went and did the famous walk to plant the flag but also to respect those that have been before and attempting to reach the moon and have been involved in the process tell us about that yeah we we we recognized that we wouldn't have been there it hadn't been for our competitors in the Soviet Union it was actually the competition that made both of our programs able to do the things that they achieved and so we recognized that by putting some medallions for our fallen comrades on both sides who had not lived to see the event and and that what that was a tender moment it's gonna say there must be such an emotional moment because even in the time I've known you Neal as much as that was competitive there's such an element of decency in you as a person and to actually be on the moon and to say but by the grace of God I'm the one who did it and and you know that that moment where you probably wanted a little privacy but other than the 400-plus million that were watching you had that moment it must be something that you have reflected on over the years it was it was special and memorable but it was only instantaneous because there was work to do yeah and you know the checklists were all over us we needed to get on with fix and and that's why we were there there to meditate we were there to get things done so we got on with it yeah and say you you went back to the craft and it's then that I think you heard that there was a phone call for you mm-hmm a phone call there's a something special here okay yeah I forget what John and modernize the story but I'm wrong on that so you you've come back and it's it's known to you that there's someone to speak to and you didn't say look I'm busy at the moment you did take the call I did and who was that and it was the President of the United States who was speaking from his office in the White House and a very very nice congratulatory message from from the President on behalf of all everyone who had worked on it on the project and and that that was a surprising surprise and and again it was work to be done so get back to job and so you to to the to the liftoff to return an issue with the ignition that required some rudimentary innovation you know when you're in this in the spacesuit and it's pressurized it's very cumbersome here the like the Frankenstein monster and you turn in my colleague and one of these motions bang into the circuit breaker panel with his back there's a lot of a lot of circuit breakers over there lots of ones and so he could have picked something that was not very important but he banged into the circuit breaker that controlled the SN engine that got us back in and in orbit I think that that when we recognized that we thought it probably will hold but maybe we better see if there's a way to increase our chances of making sure the circuit breaker wouldn't automatically disengage so we took a piece of a plastic pen magic marker kind of pen and made it made a little crutch to hold it in place about that I think if they'd asked any of the four hundred plus million that were watching that they're just about to insert part of a pen to ensure they get home they wouldn't have believed they wouldn't have believed that I'm you know I really think that had we not done that we'd still be alright but it was just insurance it's nice to get a little insurance in it on landing of course there was celebration that to a great extent I don't thinks ever stopped and ever since that time there have been people who have claimed that that that never happened and imagine that I've told all of the effort and all the passion that there are still people that would say that what was your initial response to that when I when I talked to you you said something fascinating about the number of people that were involved in that project well I don't recall what I said but people love conspiracy theories I mean they're very attractive food but it was never a concern to me because I know that one day somebody's going to go fly back up there and pick up that camera I left so they'll be sure that well I recall and I think it was a fantastic response and that was because I'm hanging off every word you say nearly say I remember and and it was around about the fact that 800,000 staff at NASA couldn't possibly keep the secret and knowing how people work I think that's so compelling I can't tell you but in that conversation as well you you alerted me to the fact that someone has put together the most marvelous combination of your landing against Google moon mapping which side by side clearly endorses not only that but every crater the flag there's been no property development we've just decided when we looked at the footage its opportunity yeah let's just have a quick look at it [Music] [Music] this slide shows the trajectory to the surface the actual powered descent of the lunar module to the surface took 12 minutes and 32 seconds and this is just the final three minutes the part that's really interesting as you get close to the surface of the Moon now in the left screen you will see the original 1969 movie film that we took from the window of the lunar module eagle and on the right side you will see what the crew saw looking out the window in front of them there is a shaded area there that shows you the exact duplicate of the area that's on the left so you can compare the craters and see if they are duplicate of each other one on the Left took place 42 years ago this pictures on the right took place in the last two years okay we've been descending I should tell you you'll hear the crewmen talking might hear my copilot giving altitude and descent rates and you'll hear people in the background talking from Mission Control on earth we've been descending about 2,000 meters a minute we're now down to about below a thousand meters in altitude my my my computer tells me that we're it's taking us to a landing just on the right side of that big crater on that up in the upper left-hand corner the slopes are steep and the rocks look very large the size of automobiles certainly not a place that I want to land so I took over manually from the computer the autopilot and flew it like a helicopter on out to the west to try to find a smoother more level landing spot the computer is complaining now and then you'll hear caution alarms 1202 s and 1201 s which is telling us the computer is a little bit turned about its operation but everything looks good and the people in Mission Control tell us we can continue [Applause] hundred metres above the store looking down at this 30 meter crater about 8 meters deep looks like a real geological trader treasure I want to go back there and look at that if I ever get the chance while I'm on my we're looking for a smooth spot beyond that crater I see a smooth spot right up near the top of the screen it looks like that's a that's a good place to be and I'm running low on fuel I have less than two minutes of fuel getting down below about 70 meters now 50 meters still looking good right in the left side you will see in the old movie that the rocket engine is starting to kick up some desks dust off this off the surface I did a 30 second fuel running need to get it down on the ground here pretty soon before we run out okay the picture on the left is more accurate but there's more dust there you see the shadow of my landing leg coming on on the surface on the blowing dust we're very close to the surface right now [Music] I'm back light okay engine stop we copy you down eagle now that's amazing and to have you actually commentate through it in a relaxed state far more relaxing you would have been 42 years ago it's just very very special so Neil since those days of those wonderful days of being an astronaut you've had a long and successful career since that's included being a professor at university chairman of a large fortune company a series of chairmanships around issues to do with aerospace and all sorts of things how difficult was it or how easy was it to transition your life from the first forty being so focused and so deep in their drive to the next forty years well the subject matter has always been similar engineer by nature and throughout these years I've been dealing with engineering subjects and I always feel fascinated by whatever it is we're looking into from an engineering standpoint I have to say that now and then I miss the excitement of being in in the in the cockpit of an airplane and and doing new things but I've come to accept that and and found a lot of satisfaction in solving problems outside outside of the aircraft and in terms of this year of course is a wonderful celebration anniversary of the landing and in and around the same time NASA's made some rather sad certainly from Australia's point of view and I'm sure for the us's point of view sad statements about what its plans are for the future how are you feeling about that well I'm substantially concerned about the policy directions of the space agency which are in fact directed by directed by the administration of and we have a situation in the states where the where the executive branch and the legislative branch they the White House and the Congress are at odds over what the future direction should be and so they're sort of playing a game and NASA as the shuttlecock they're there they're hitting back and forth as both sides try to get an answer on the proper path so I I along with many of my colleagues have interjected ourselves into these discussions and presented our perspectives to the American people through newspaper editorials and to the Congress through testimony and and hearings and to the administration by correspondence that we are trying to to get on the very best path here I I think that we've made some progress but there's much yet to be done and I'll continue to interject myself into those roles because this battle and I've mentioned to you before when I'm in the US I'm stunned by the instant news world that's been created there the short-term thinking something like a NASA project if you look at what it did to you as a country in the 60s would give you something to aim for that's beyond tomorrow you know beyond just tomorrow and almost redefine the or the country again and give it vision well in addition to that nASA has been one of the most successful public investments in motivating students to do well and and achieve all they they can achieve and it's it's sad that we are we are turning the program in a direction where it will will reduce the amount of motivation and stimulation that it provides to young people and that's that's a major concern to me and that's never a good thing to do but at this time in the US and so that we wish you very well with that challenge and if there's anything we can do nationally to help you just call me thank you my bitch I will certainly do that it's your message that is so profound Neil and I and I do want to say to you at a personal level you know I I made some effort to come to meet you to ask you to come to Australia I did it ostensibly because your courage with along with your colleagues your vision your president of that time and everyone was such an exemplar of what we could do as as a human race and you did that you you you then became a very staid a very humble man and there is so much you need to keep talking about to ensure that leaders of today actually see what it's like to be a leader I know you don't like talking about yourself so that's why I'm doing it but you really do have an extraordinarily important role in in the next 20 years and I so convinced him I that that's the case that I will fly with you on a glider and 100th birthday because I know you still do that that's the risk I'm willing to take because you have much work to do Neil Armstrong you're a wonderful man thank you very cute so much thank you thank you you know Neil Armstrong the courage the vision the process Drive the capability that belief the dream we weren't going to miss out in having Neil Armstrong speak at our 125th anniversary it was like sitting with my father telling me stories about his life with such enormous humility humility I'd never seen before there are whole series of special moments but no bigger for me than when we were saying goodbye to him at the airport and had a couple of security guys who are slightly larger than me and as Neil walked towards the gate he turned around and saluted to the three of us and I sort of put my arms around these very sizable fellows and said boys that was for us and that was that was a great moment choose to go to the moon [Music] Oh you