So sad to discover last night that Neil Armstrong had passed away. This gentle, modest and spiritual man was the first to dare to step on the Moon – A Giant Step, as he himself said, though he, rather typically, described his own part as a small step.
My Friend Garik Israelian who organised Starmus last year in Tenerife gave all the original US astronauts and Russian Cosmonauts the chance to meet and mingle in a way they had not done for nearly 50 years. Those of us who were there had the unique privilege of seeing these great men speak, and interact with each other, a moment never to be forgotten by those who were there. For us, there were also some private moments at lunch or dinner in the observatories which now feel painfully special, since, with Neil Armstong gone, those moments can never return.
There will be many tributes to this great man in the days to come, but our memories are of a wonderful, sensitive, perceptive human being, still unassuming after all those years, and his passing away is a huge loss and a huge sadness for the world.