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  Texas textbooks may omit Neil Armstrong (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   Texas textbooks may omit Neil Armstrong

Posts: 481
From: Germantown, WI USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 09-24-2009 08:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikej   Click Here to Email mikej     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The team said they made this proposal because he was not a scientist.
As it happens, I'm currently reading First Man, which contradicts this assertion:
Armstrong reported to work at the High-Speed Flight Station on July 11, 1955. His formal job title was Aeronautical Research Scientist (Pilot).

Mercury Seven
New Member


posted 09-25-2009 09:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mercury Seven   Click Here to Email Mercury Seven     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
An Open Letter to the Texas Board of Education:

Dear Texas Board of Education:

Greetings from Earth. Wanted to set the record straight about Neil Armstrong and the rumor your organization may omit his name from your school textbooks because he was not a scientist. Au contraire mon fraire!

My friends on this post are all producing excellent reasons for Mr. Armstrong to be included in your valuable textbooks. Brother Hansen deserves special mention for his vibrant choice of words (I had no idea academics could get so feisty - you go Bro Hansen!) and the simple fact he knows plenty about the subject at hand.

I too would like to add some additional facts behind the assertion that Neil Alden Armstrong most definitely was a scientist on July 20, 1969:

Exhibit A: Neil Armstrong, and one Buzz Aldrin (forgot about him too I see), walked on the lunar surface. In addition to this singularly incredible feat they actually performed scientific experiments on the lunar surface. Please read the definitive account of the scientific aspects of the mission in the Apollo 11 Preliminary Science Report, available directly from NASA. In it you can read in detail about all the scientific experiments the dynamic duo of Armstrong and Aldrin set up on the Moon. However, if you lack the time just read page 1 (page 6 on the pdf). That tells the full scientific story:

...and Brother Mercury Seven quotes from the good book entitled Apollo 11 Preliminary Science Report...

The scientific objectives of the Apollo 11 mission, in order of priority, were the following:
  1. To collect early in the extravehicular activity (EVA) a sample, called the contingency sample, of approximately 1 kg of lunar surface material to insure that some lunar material would be returned to Earth.

  2. To fill rapidly one of the two sample return containers with approximately 10 kg of the lunar material, called the bulk sample, to insure the return of an adequate amount of material to meet the needs of the principal investigators.

  3. To deploy three experiments on the lunar surface:
    1. A passive seismometer to study lunar seismic events, the Passive Seismic Experiment Package (PSEP)

    2. An optical corner reflector to study lunar librations, the Laser Ranging Retroreflector (LRRR)

    3. A solar-wind composition (SWC) experiment to measure the types and energies of the solar wind on the lunar surface

  4. To fill the second sample return container with carefully selected lunar material placed into the local geologic context, to drive two core tubes into the surface, and to return the tubes with the stratigraphically organized material, called the documented sample.
So ends my quote. I move on to more reasons...

Exhibit B: In order to do the above they received heaps of scientific training. For example, they visited numerous geologic features around the world (see the book "Carrying The Fire" by Michael Collins - another gentleman on the Apollo 11 mission you seem to have omitted) in order to hone their abilities to scientifically prospect for the most interesting samples. Call them lunar geologists.

Exhibit C: In order to even get to the Moon they had to be scientists first and foremost. Hey Texas BOE, remember the late 1960's? Any of you have computers at home? No, I did not think so. Actual human beings (namely Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins) were required to make star sightings to chart their course (astronomy/celestial navigation), correct their course (engineering and computer science) and perform, yes, scientific experiments. For extra bonus points some of you may recall Buzz Aldrin's light flash experiment. One Neil Armstrong participated in it. Hmmm... sounds like more science to me.

I wish you all the best in your scientific endeavors at textbook design. Be sure to include Neil Armstrong in your book so kids can actually learn that humans did indeed voyage to the Moon all those years ago.


Posts: 1067
From: Leawood, Kansas USA
Registered: Oct 2003

posted 09-29-2009 09:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fabfivefreddy   Click Here to Email fabfivefreddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Open Letter:

I ask the Texas Board to reconsider adding Neil Armstrong's name to the list of scientists for the following reason(s):

A scientist generally follows the "scientific method" taught in many schools:

Define the question
Gather information
Form hypothesis
Perform experiment and collect data
Analyze data
Publish results

I would offer to you that Neil Armstrong performed these scientific steps many times during his career. Most notably, as a an engineer and pilot he tested the Lunar Lander Training Vehicle. This was the training vehicle used to help astronauts practice Moon landings. It was through experimentation and observation that he helped a team of engineers to use data and observations that he collected to make adjustments that were deemed appropriate to the design. He personally collected that data which benefited NASA.

Mr. Armstrong also worked on the simulators that were used to train the astronauts for Moon landings.

I would also offer to you that the scientific method that Mr. Armstrong used on the lunar surface involved observation, data collecting, information gathering, and analysis. His observations were published. He worked as part of a team of 300,000 or more people in a collaborative process to allow man to get on the Moon.

Please reconsider your decision.


Tahir Rahman
Author of We Came in Peace for all Mankind


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