Why was Neil Armstrong chosen and not Buzz Aldrin? On July 16, 1969, the Saturn V rocket took off for the Moon, to reach Earth’s natural satellite four days later, on July 20, 1969.
The Apollo 11 crew was composed of Neil Armstrong (1930-2012), Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. Neil, the mission commander, was the first to get off the ship, thus becoming the first human being to touch the lunar floor; on the other hand Buzz had the happiness of being the second.
WHY ARMSTRONG AND NOT ALDRIN?
The protocol established that Aldrin was the first to go down after the moon landing, because he was younger . However, for design reasons, the protocol was modified and Armstrong was the first man to step on the satellite.
They say that it was because of his intelligence and his many technical skills that Deke Slayton (1924-1993), then director of NASA, offered Armstrong to be commander of Apollo 11 and make history on July 20, 1969.
It is said that in a room where there were 25 astronauts trained to do so, Armstrong was chosen to step on the Moon.
At just 16, Armstrong was licensed to fly airplanes. He was a bold pilot and a shy man. After joining the Navy, he joined the NASA Gemini Project and then Apollo 11.
Technically, the highlight of the man born on August 5, 1930 in Wapakoneta, Ohio (United States), was his ability as a pilot.
But to get to take the most famous step in history, the commander of Apollo 11 proved to have more than technical capabilities.
Aldrin, a perfectionist, exuberant and convinced of the transcendental nature of the mission, was excited at the idea of moving on to the history books. Armstrong, on the other hand, looked pretty careless. Engineer and test pilot first of all, the only thing that really interested him was to achieve his goal as scheduled. Stepping on the Moon was a mere detail that was part of the flight plan.
Neil Armstrong was training as an alternate commander of the Apollo 9 mission a year before his historic mission as a commander of Apollo 11.
Finally, another aspect – never officially recognized – is that Armstrong was a civilian and Aldrin, an active Air Force colonel. It is likely that it was considered more politically correct that the first man on the Moon did not hold military employment.